Givers, Takers, and Everybody Else

In many areas of life, including money, there seem to be at least three kinds of people: givers, takers, and everybody else.

Givers. When you heard that name, you thought about somebody. That’s the man who quietly mows an elderly person’s yard without being asked and never tells a soul. This is the woman whose kitchen is always warm with the smell of freshly baked bread, pies, and all other manner of things that we’re not supposed to eat but we love to anyway. And she gives them away. This is the popular teen that engages a classmate that’s not in the “in” crowd but treats her like a VIP anyway.

Givers give because they can’t help it. It’s just who they are.

Takers. Does a name or face come to mind? It sure does with me. Well, this is the person who never seems to be able to get on the topside of life. They’re always one step behind, not because they couldn’t get ahead, but because they just won’t.

No job is interesting enough to keep. Relationships are mostly about utility, not fidelity. And they’re frustrated by all the people who won’t help them. Life has dealt them a raw deal. And, of course, it is never their fault.

Everybody else. You know, that’s really what most people are - neither extreme givers nor extreme takers. They’re just regular people.

It’s delightful to have a giver in your life – who wouldn’t like that? But if you’re close to one, you may occasionally need to help them balance their love of giving with their tendency to be taken advantage of by … can you guess? …takers.

Most of us have at least a taker or two in our lives – not because there are so many of them out there, but because they find you. Like a hound that has caught a scent, they sniff you out, anxious to learn the limits of your generosity and gullibility.

I don’t know anything about you the listener listening to this right now. But I do know a thing or two about takers. And they can smell a giver a mile away.

There’s a reason the bank won’t lend some people money. When someone can be described as “always in financial trouble,” I ask myself “why?” Why is this person “always” in financial trouble? Once in a while maybe but always? Maybe a taker’s financial trouble didn’t start with the crisis of the day, but their financial woes are certainly exaggerated by them.

In my experience, givers want to rescue takers, in hope of making them better people. All they need is a chance, right?

And my experience with takers is that they are very, very willing to be rescued. After all, it isn’t my fault and the world owes me a break, right?

If you’re a giver…or if you know and you care about one… the first thing I’d say is, “Wow. What a wonderful gift to be a giver. You can do so much good for so many people.”

But I’d also add this caveat: when a big-hearted Giver meets a bottomless-pit-of-need Taker, both will end up losing.

Getting tied in with a taker will only give a giver grief.

 Offering you Wisdom on Wealth, I’m Byron Moore.

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