How many times have we heard the phrase, “I will give you something you want but only if you give me something I want first.” Do you remember this game when you were growing up? When playing “keep away” or “finder’s keepers” turned into arguments on the playground or in the backyard. And although we found it humorous to be holding onto something that someone else wanted, we didn’t like the feeling when they did the same to us. That put us in a pickle and then it became something so much more — where a mutual agreement becomes something of a bargain, with counting of 1,2, 3 and the exchanging being one done simultaneously to prevent either party from having an edge above the other. And you began to lose interest in the item you held that was not yours — you ached for what you
I am exhausted just in playing out the above scenario in my head. And I didn’t move from my chair. But is life really like that?
For some people, that is exactly what life is like. Especially in business. You see it all the time — the constant, “If you do this, I will do that” debate. And as you wait for the other party to agree to your terms, you are wasting valuable time that could have been spent elsewhere.
Do not get me wrong — I understand how important it is to get something for your services. I charge for my speeches and I don’t usually give away my book for free. But sometimes, it is exactly about that — it is about caring first. It is about handing over whatever is in your hand that the other party would find valuable and you offer it to them, with no strings attached.
I know…it doesn’t sound like good business, does it? No one will stay in business that long if they give everything away. But what if that sign of generosity was replicated because of your good will? Is it possible that people take notice that most people don’t do the “right” thing? Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t?”
Why are we so leery of people being good? Why do we doubt the unconditional giving from one person to another, knowing that there are no strings attached? Why would someone just give something of value to someone without expecting anything in return? Who does that?
If we cannot believe in humanity, then what can we believe in? If we have lost faith in the intention of the giving, then we have lost much more than that. If we are unable to accept the generosity of others, then how can we expect them to accept our carefree giving?
At some point, there has to be a sense of trust. A belief that this person is expecting nothing in return, but is giving freely because they can. But how do we trust when we have been burned in the past? How do we forego hesitation and reluctancy when we have nothing to support our actions? When we flinch at the very moment someone does something nice for us?
But how do we work around our feelings of doubt? Is it fair to have one hand out ready to accept what is given, but have our feet pointed in the other direction if we need to take off running in the opposite direction?
In the past, I was always afraid of receiving something from someone. I questioned the motive in which it was given and waited for it to be retracted as quickly as it was given, as if it were a fluke or a mistake. I didn’t believe in the giver. I had been hurt too many times before to believe that someone would not treat me the same way I had grown accustomed to in the past. But someone changed that for me.
[bctt tweet=”And today, I think about why giving more away now is better than holding onto it for a day that may never come. @ItStartsToday”]
The more we give just for the sake of giving creates a feeling of trust that cannot be bought or conditioned in any other way. It must be experienced. It must be felt. It must be given.
If we have lost trust, then we have no hope. In anything. Yes, it may mean that we get burned. It may also mean that we receive something great that we might have otherwise refused. But isn’t it about time we started giving, just to give? And let the rest of it work itself out?
Caring about someone else starts with the belief that even if we get nothing in return, we will have done what we could just because…
Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©