To Give or to Get?

Okay, so it seems that our little health question-answer extravaganza is slowly taking on a life of its own. Well, good. I must say, it has made for some very interesting reading and I’m compelled to send a group hug to all of our askers and answerers for contributing and caring. Consider yourselves hugged. Let’s keep the discussion alive for a few days and I’ll give away some stuff on Friday. I love that we have the opportunity to dive into the collective talent pool that is YOU (my readers) and to do something good along the way.

Isn’t it nice to give?


If you’re like most, then over the years you’ve been taught that success is about getting stuff. Lots of stuff. More stuff than you need. In fact, you’ve probably been taught that, what you need is not nearly as important as what you can get. Ownership is power. Ownership is success.

Or so we’re taught.

Well, despite popular thinking, practical experience, intelligent observation and a healthy level of consciousness tells us that giving is typically far more rewarding, transformational and empowering than getting will ever be. Of course, getting is necessary and healthy to a point but beyond that point, it (getting) can become something of an unhealthy, and ultimately destructive, obsession. Sadly, some people live permanently on the wrong side of that point in the hope that all their getting will somehow equate to power, popularity and, of course, happiness.

It never does. Not for long anyway.

One of the curious contradictions of personal development is that, sometimes the most growth and learning happens when we don’t focus on ourselves. Or our stuff. Weird huh? Like many other endeavours, the pursuit of self-improvement is only positive and productive to a point and then it becomes a little destructive. And selfish. And kind of annoying for other people.

To be totally honest, some self-help types (for want of a better term) are painful to be around.

The irony of the getting mindset is that it is insatiable; it’s like trying to fuel a fire with tissue paper. It can never get enough stuff. And why? Because what’s usually missing (in the getter’s life) invariably has little or nothing to do with their external reality. That is, their assets. Their accumulated stuff. Some people have been trying to fill an emotional (or maybe, spiritual) void with their stuff for years. And when their stuff doesn’t work any more, they tend to buy and try more stuff. New stuff. Different stuff.

It doesn’t matter how hard we search when we’re looking in the wrong place.

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