Toxic Giving

Written ByDennis

October 10, 2019

I was recently on crowd control at a large funeral in a community I work with. “Sorry mate, you can’t stand there, we need to keep this clear for the coffin procession”.

“I am not moving. I have been giving my time to this community for many years and no one has offered me a seat – so I am not moving!” was the rather aggressive and angry response before continuing to cause maximum disruption to others and the whole proceedings. Now I understand weddings and funerals bring out the best and the worst in us and we all grieve in different ways but there it was right in my face – “the entitlement culture.”

I have been giving for such a long time and so I am entitled!

I don’t know about you, but I detest this attitude!

Do you give and why? I believe living a positive life is more about giving than taking. I am often quoted saying that giving is the most selfish thing you can do for yourself – the universe always seems to find a way to give back and I feel I have always received more than I have given!

So why do you give? Is it with a high or low heart?

A ‘low hearted’ giver gives in the expectation of something in return. A way to draw attention to themselves so the giving becomes all about ‘me’. It’s toxic! It doesn’t help anyone, and it doesn’t help you in the long term as you start to feel entitled. I give, so you better give back. Find me a seat, even though all those people are grieving the loss of a loved one (this doesn’t matter to the low heart giver). And yep, guess who had made themselves the centre of attention at the wake following the funeral with the obligatory wailing and gnashing of teeth…

Of course, this is where people’s “idiot radar” proves most useful.

A ‘high hearted’ giver gives with absolutely no expectation of something in return. They give because they want this world to be a better place. They give because it is the right thing to do. They give without need of praise. They are the people who just do things when they are needed to be done and then just merge back into the background without fanfare or noise. Without any bitterness should nothing be received in return.

These high hearted givers are my heroes. They inspire me to be a better person. They are my role models.

Our community and world are full of them! They make things happen. They gain satisfaction by seeing things get done and seeing people enjoy their contributions. For high hearted people, giving is never about them – it’s always about other people. Yet paradoxically, giving does become all about them because people know – eventually. They do become the centre of attention for all the right reasons – people want to be like them and want to model their behaviours. These high hearted givers both generate and receive genuine gratitude which is one of the most positive emotions for our wellbeing.

So, be a high hearted giver – give without any expectation of getting anything back. And be prepared to get much more back than you ever intended, expected or required.

Now, I am going back to tell old mate where he can stick his VIP seating.

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