Ahhh…hmmm…gurgle. It’s warm and soft in here. Why in heaven’s name would I want to leave its safe maternity for that cold white delivery room out there…? But, want to or not, we’re all born into this cold white world. A little scary at first. Pretty soon, though, we get the hang of it. Because, well, Mom’s even warmer and softer on the outside. Plus all the on-demand milk!
So life starts on this comfortable I-take-you-give basis. And it lasts that way for a long time. Parents… older siblings…doting aunts…concerned teachers…kindly clergy…maybe even neighbors with after-school cookies. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Things eventually take a bad turn. Now, of all things, people start expecting US to do some of the giving. College professors…bosses…cops…sergeants…tax collectors. Wait a minute, I didn’t sign up for this. No wonder Linus clutches his little blue blanket. He misses that cozy first-draft to the contract.
This sudden, ugly turn of events is a kick-in-the-face. I thought becoming an adult was all about all that freedom to do whatever I want. Now, looking around, it may have been over-sold. With every birthday there’s more freedom, sure, but it keeps coming with more of a price. Gee, Ma, the world actually expects me to start giving back.Taking was easy; giving, not so much!
Unless you can start giving to your world in the understanding that you’re really not an island. Like it or not, we’re all in this together. It’s not just about me anymore; but about we. You know, the old aphorism “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
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