Giving and Receiving Is a Circle

Platitudes are loathsome!

For example, here’s one: “Good things come to those who wait.”

Well, if you plan on waiting, I hope you don’t get run over by those in hurry to get to the top by any means necessary, and then there’s the whole issue of how unfair life generally is.

And this one: “Forgive and forget.”

Forgive and forget willy nilly at your own peril. And remember this bit of wisdom: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

But here’s one of my personal favorite platitudes to despise, hate, detest, and abhor:

“Do not give to get.”

In other words, do not give of your self or your resources expecting so much as a thank you very much.

Most likely, this stupidity originated with a taker who lacked boundaries or a scintilla of gratitude and who was really pissed off because they were possibly being held accountable for behaving like an ungrateful, uncivilized human being.

TRUTH: No reasonable, grateful, or civilized beneficiary has ever used that last one in the presence of another human being’s generosity.


And that is precisely the problem with platitudes: Too many of us spout them off thoughtlessly as if they’re undeniable truths. When, in fact, they’re often a lazy, inconsiderate approach to life.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a platitude is defined as “a statement that has been repeated so often that is meaningless.” And I might add ridiculously incomplete.

But here’s the question we need to ask about giving “with or without expectation:”

Can a society be truly civilized without a two-way channel of open-hearted giving AND grateful receiving?

I think not.

5 thoughts on “Giving and Receiving Is a Circle”

  1. I believe the platitude of good things come to those that wait means that when you sow a seed you do not get fruits right a way. You have to cultivate and tender your seed and wait for the fruit. You should never give up trying to to see your labor comes to fruition.

    On giving, one should never give to get, and I hate the fact that when I give anyone something they believe that they have to give me something back in return.

    Lastly, I hate that at Christmas time how people runs around buying gifts for everyone, but they completely forget whose birthday we are celebrating. The name of Jesus is never mentioned. People, remember it is his birthday. Show some respect and honor him for what he gave to us.

    • As for giving, I would like to believe that most good people do not give to get. It is also true that most of us need to get better at allowing others to be giving and generous without diluting their generosity by making it tit for tat. But I maintain that when others are generous, those of us on the receiving end of open-hearted generosity should want to show appreciation and gratitude. It is a circle, or should be.

      And as for this Christmas season, Jesus who?!

  2. I do agree that giving is a circle. We all have different gifts and talents we can share. If one benefits from the financial generosity of others, one can give of ones time and talents. An example would be a college student with a wealthy benefactor. He or she could tutor local children in need of help. This way all benefit and the benefactor can see that generosity of spirit carried on.

    • You got it! Appreciation, gratitude, and paying it forward are all ways that we can participate in the circle of giving and receiving. And it all makes for a better world in which more of us can do more than survive: We can THRIVE.


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