Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Give a little Idealism

I had an argument with someone recently about ‘giving’. I am a giving person. Man, that must be the only reason sometimes I stay in this Humanitarian game.

Sure, giving is not necessarily altruistic. You get a thrill from “giving”…even if it is in the ego-ballooning sense. Except that it was also drilled into my head from an early age “you give because you want to give, not because you want something back in return”.

So I give. I try. Sometime this means I also expect friends to step up to the plate when I need to do some taking, but often I try not to expect. (Apparently this is a problem. Is it???)

I help out where I can, if I can. Financially. Emotionally. Logistically. Intellectually. If I have the means, then I do not see why not.

And this is where the argument started. This chickie told me I give too much. And I exhaust myself. And often people in my life just take. And don’t give back. And expect to keep taking from me. This is the norm that I teach them. And, she argues, I have to change this.

I hate the idea of that. It almost makes me feel ill.

I argue that my close friends give to me. And don’t expect anything back. And some acquaintances will go out of their way for me when they realise I hope to do the same for them. Friends give me lifts to holidays, meals, love and support, ice cream or champagne (then I REALLY love them). They answer their phones at 3am when I am hating the world and want to talk, and I am one of the few people they’d do that for. Acquaintances help get me jobs or connections, or look out for me & my security.

I’d hate to take this lady’s lesson, and stop giving. Because it seems too selfish. If everyone just gave a bit more, of whatever, then everyone would smile a bit more. Yes, one of those sweet silly Idealists, I know.

But it’s like that move, “Pay It Forward”. If you do a good thing for someone, and then they have to in turn do a good thing for two people who have to do a good thing for 2 more people.

Whether it’s smiling at someone you walk past. Asking the lady behind the till how her day is going. Giving forty bucks to the woman cleaning the toilets of a club you paid R60 to get into (before drinks). Helping a friend move their furniture even when they aren’t even in town. Getting the bill for the cocktails you and your mate just enjoyed. Sitting with a colleague and teaching them excel. Ensuring you get to an acquaintance’s birthday party even when it’s freezing and far away. Spending a Friday night turning down an invite out to have dinner with your folks cause you haven’t seen them in a week and you know it would make your dad’s day.

Do I just take it to far these days? Or should I hold onto my idealism for as long as possible and fight the norm?


fly said...

It's nice to be nice and it costs nothing so why not... ??? who gives a shit if at the end of the day you sometimes come off second least you tried, which is a whole bunch more I can say for some people ;o)

Champagne Heathen said...

But maybe those other people are onto something?

Right now, it is costing me a nice lazy day at work as I pump my way through a crazy workload & then do something for tasting this evening!!

Revolving Credit said...

"This chickie told me I give too much"

Too much is possibly when you give more that you can afford to give, like giving your months pay cheque to the the 'Save the lesser spotted Ethiopian House Porcupine' telethon, before you've paid your rent.

But in all my years, I've never ever heard some guy say: 'Do you know what the problem is with my girlfriend ,Rev, she just gives me too much head'

Never have heard it and probably never will.

fly said...

lol... :o)

It always comes back to you no matter what it is...but thats just it, you cant expect it to come back neccesarily as something you want...

I've found that sometimes I have the most uncanny luck...good things just happen to me and I attribute that to being a nice guy....

Like I costs you nothing to be nice ;o)

Champagne Heathen said...

Rev - I give a great amount in certain ways. As for that way...I do not think any boyfriend of mine ever will ever get close to even thinking those words. Never have and probably never will!
....and I also can't cook a nice meal.

fly - that's one of the hopes I have (that kill any ideas that it's all about altruism). Let's just hope we're right!!

Revolving Credit said...

What, you've never given too much or never given at all??????

Champagne Heathen said...

Ha Ha!! Now I have you very worried for once!!

Rev, you know I don't share such details. You'd have to do some seriously decent stalking to find that out!

Revolving Credit said...

See, it just goes to prove that you don't give too much. Problem solved.

Revolving Credit said...

This is one activity where I'm not sure it's better to give than to receive.

Champagne Heathen said...

Giving up too many details or giving head??

Revolving Credit said...

What do you think???

Anonymous said...

lol @ rev!You gonna host guywithaonetrackmind anytime soon? hey champs its not a bad thing - if karma does exist you in the pound seats!

Revolving Credit said...

CTC - My mind does venture down multiple tracks, some of these tracks may even be called the proverbial garden path, but these paths do have one thing in common : they all lead to the same destination.

Peas on Toast said...

Babe, the fact people think you give is an eternally amazing quality. Very special. I suppose though, people who aren't your mates may try to take advantage of this. So just be careful where you extend this amazing energy.

Champagne Heathen said...

Rev, knowing you....definitely the former.

Chews - What if karma doesn't exist? I suggest you all just post me chocolates and bottles of Moet in case. That would be sweet & giving.

Peas - thanks babe! Yes, no more of my pay cheque to bitching car guards or tequila to cute strangers!