You know the old adage, “there are two kinds of people in the world…”?
I have another to add to the list. It is about how we see the world and engage with others which is especially obvious this time of year because of our cultural exaggerated WANT. Does this time of year seem to put more of an emphasis on “getting” or pointing out what you are “lacking”? It’s almost as if the season is provoking our desires. Convincing us that we need more…everything. Or maybe the images and advertisements only confirm our suspicion “If I just had more, then I will feel satisfied.” Either way, this only heightens each of our focuses on ME.
So the two types of people in the world…there are GIVERs and TAKERs. It isn’t really about purchasing because this attitude shows up in every situation. A TAKER mentality is a never-ending pursuit of finding enough. It reveals the deepest value in each interaction with others and every decision because all of life is seen through the lens of “what I get”.
What sets the other group apart is NOT that they live as minimalists. Their difference is deeper at an attitudinal level. They engage the world as GIVERs in each encounter not for what they will get out of it, but for what and how they can contribute. Sure, they receive too, but when they have an opportunity to take, GIVERs find ways to give instead.
Perhaps the goal is not to swing from one extreme to the other but to find the healthy balance that enables each of us to respond appropriately in the situation. So the question remains, how does one shift modes from TAKER to GIVER?
It is pretty simple, but not easy, and this is definitely not new technology. It happens with the cultivation of the abundance mindset. Each moment when you have enough, you can freely give. A great way to cultivate this mindset is through the daily practice of gratitude. It can be as simple as asking, “What are three things that am I grateful for right now?”
Does it sound too simple? Or maybe you think “I have already tried it, and it didn’t work!” but I wonder, did you really give it a full-hearted try?
I believe that giving is what this season is really about. And that engaging as GIVER is possible after realizing that we have been given so much! By shifting focus to gratitude, our focus also shifts off of what is lacking and onto our blessings. Our enough’ness.
If you stop long enough to think about it, each of us has SO much to be grateful for. Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” makes it possible to recognize the abundance of gifts we each have. And this leads us to the truth…we GIVE because we have RECEIVED so much!