“I shall pass this way but once. Therefore any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again.” — William Penn
I have a good friend of mine who is an acclaimed American author and an international speaker. We have friendship for the last five years and we value our relations profoundly. He endorsed some of my authored books and wrote foreword for a book. We regularly exchange our knowledge over e-mails. In one of his e-mails, he mentioned that in America, relations are valued on reciprocal response. His viewpoint was thought provoking and I decided to explore it to enlighten my readers.
There are various kinds of people in this world. Most of them expect from others without contributing anything. Worse, there are some who demand too much from others as if they had a right to ask for it. Such people are known as selfish people. Some of them even go to the extent of exploiting the relations for their short-term ends. They are also known as takers. You must safeguard from such selfish people in this world. Once they avail the opportunities they say ‘good bye’ to you forever. Such people often fool the people around and cannot grow in their lives as they cannot succeed all the time to fool others. Abraham Lincoln rightly remarked, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Hence, these people will be checkmated over a period of time and end up with stagnation.
Takers are fakers. They fake others. They wear multiple masks to get their things done. You can easily identify takers as they approach you whenever they need your help. Once the work is over they don’t show their faces. They approach you again when they need your help. To bridge the gap in relations, they tell lots of lies to cover up. Unfortunately, they end up in a fiasco. At times they come to you with an impression to help you with a hidden agenda to take big favors from you. Hence, be careful with takers in your life.
In the second category, you will find people who seek help from others and also reciprocate when the time comes. They often think ‘what is in it for me?’ They are known as matchers. This category is somewhat better than the first category. Some of the people in this category will also have the ‘attitude of gratitude’ which is a healthy sign. They will regret if they are unable to help others who helped them in the past. This second category is better than the first category of takers.
In the third category, you will find people in a limited number who always think of helping others. They are altruistic people and help others without any expectations. They are known as givers. Most times they are exploited by first category of people. In spite of being exploited by others, they still want to extend their hands to make a difference in the lives of others. They live like legends and remain like legends beyond their lifetime. If you look at leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela to name a few, they were givers who lived like legends.
When you diagram them into a pyramid, first category falls at the bottom, the second category in the middle and the third category on the top of the pyramid which is few in number. Most problems come to the people who are takers as they often exploit others. At times, they also demoralize the givers who want to help the genuine and the deserving people. Conflicts also tend to arise among the second category of the people who expect reciprocal response from their relationships. If they believe in the slogan of what goes around comes around the conflicts can be averted in this world. Adam Grant mentioned some of these aspects in his book titled Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.
Givers are transparent and clear. They are generous by heart and noble by nature. At times givers are exploited by takers. They may also lose their interest to help and serve others. Since generosity is the hallmark of their nature and servant-hood is their behavior, they keep giving to others. That is the reason why most of the givers excel as legends over a period of time. And that is the reason why the world is moving in the right direction under the leadership of givers.
Selfish people add value for themselves, not for others. Altruistic people add value to others, not for themselves. Selfish people keep profit before purpose while altruistic people keep purpose before the profit. Selfish people are losers while altruistic people are winners. Hence, differentiate between selfish and altruistic people. Stay away from selfish people and invite altruistic people to create positive vibes to build a better world.
Why I need to share these aspects with you is that you will be able to manage your time by focusing on the people who are really good with whom you take pride in crossing your path in your life. You also get great satisfaction by helping the deserving people who have the ‘attitude of gratitude’. Above all, you will be able to invest your precious time in the right people to create a utopian world.
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” — Barbara de Angelis
Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru
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