Give & Take

Each day brings with it a fresh new supply of energy. It is left to us to contemplate how much of it we give away, and how much we keep. If all we do is keep giving and giving, before too long we can find ourselves running on empty. Yet, if we keep it all for ourselves, we can easily suffocate on self-centeredness.

Yes, I know, one more set of decisions that we have to tackle each day….but the mix and the balance of this dilemma is important to get right. Helping others and providing a service can motivate and change lives. A kind word, or a casual gesture can move a mountain…it always seems to be the simple things that mean the most. I recently had a conversation with a waiter in a local restaurant. I always notice that whenever I see him, he always has a smile on his face, and a kind word or two for everyone. I asked him one say, “Jim, you seem to be running a mile a minute…do you ever run out of gas?” He replied, “I’ll tell ya Jennifer, once or twice during my shift I have to take a few minutes to breathe in and recharge the batteries.” Jim is a great waiter, and it became obvious to me that there had to be moments where he had to take five minutes here or there to cool his heels. A couple of times a year this same fellow told me he always goes camping to get in touch with nature for a little rest and relaxation. I guess there’s only so much you can take from the well, until you have to replenish it.

On the other side of the equation is sitting back and doing nothing for anyone other than yourself. Hey it’s easy to say some days, why do I do this? Why do I run myself ragged? still, are we meant to keep our life force all to ourselves? Unfortunately, there is also someone I know who never fails to take from each person he comes in contact with and give nothing back. Each time I run into him I’m always left with the same feeling about him…he is materially wealthy but spiritually poor. I gave it my best shot one day, and said to him, “Hey Brad, I think it would be a good idea to help Kathy down the street…she’s looking for someone to wait with her for the bus to come.” He replied, “I don’t have time for any of that junk…besides, what has she ever done for me?” Brad has lived the same way for so long that he truly believes he does nothing wrong. He has seen me and others wait with Kathy at the bus stop….but, I guess he thinks we’re fools.

So there it is….two sides of the coin. Each day it’s left to us mere mortals to find the middle ground…not too much, not too little. A well-rounded person. We are all islands floating around, hopefully realizing one day that to be totally fulfilled, we have to become a continent. Citizens of a land where no dream is too small, and no hope is too big.

Move mountains,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2004 Jennifer Avalon

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