What is to Take and Give

When we take, we do not think about what this means not only as a concept, but also for the other from whom we take. In this sense, it becomes selfishness, and by definition, selfishness “is a behavior that is determined by the thought of self-interest, benefit, and protection of one’s own interests, and is usually characterized by a certain amount of selfishness.”

All in a negative connotation, then does that make us villains in the theatrical scene of life? To be narcissistic egotists who only take and never give? Let us also look at the definition of giving and its ultimate spectrum of altruism: “the principle or practice of caring for someone else’s well-being. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and an aspect based on many religious traditions, although the concepts of the “other” to whom concern should be directed may vary in different cultures and religions. “

“Altruism can be caused by feelings of duty, responsibility and loyalty. Pure altruism is about sacrificing something for someone without expecting anything in return.

In this regard, I always remember that altruism cannot be an option, as in Shakespeare’s play “Timon of Athens”, where the protagonist is ruined by too much self-sacrifice, the people to whom he gave it are abandoned him and he dies on the beach under the stones of improvised grave. Doesn’t this reflect every single incident when a person on the street asked you for a “coin for bread”, or when you gave a friend too much not to remember the next day. On the one hand, this can be seen as a heroic deed, but since the consequences are minimal, it is rather a “vanity of good.”

The theme of giving / altruism is like the theme of taking / selfishness: polar opinions and great life lessons. And everyone who has gone through these trials, unless he is crushed by the incredible guilt instilled in society, must draw the following conclusion, and that is: the balance between giving and taking.

What is Exchange

This balance can be called “proper exchange of communication between individuals”. Exchange is what is implied by giving / altruism, but is not explained, because the narrative of every tale is the emphasis on the good, not realism.

In “real life,” so to speak, exchange is perhaps the best description of what a good friendship, a love affair, a parental relationship is: taking-giving involves two sides, not just one. This does not create a vacuum on one side, but flows in a “two-way street”.

When a person has something to give and the other party has something to add, it is a fruitful exchange. When we look for a solution to a problem and present a solution, and the other party accepts or rejects, but adds another perspective, experience or alternative, it is a good exchange. This applies to everything: friends, family, relationship with a loved one. We can always see in a dysfunctional or toxic relationship that one side always takes more and this disrupts good exchange. When it is violated, it is in a position of dominance, which is not always constructive and often even manipulative.

Therefore, a good exchange is always characterized by honesty, openness, straightforwardness and the principle of always behaving with respect for the other person.

How We Shouldn’t Get Offended to the World

Our life lessons are gifts from the world, so to speak. As difficult and painful as they are, they always carry more than we first admit.

Our life lessons often bring us together with people we consider close in heart and opinion, but because they are lessons, there is betrayal, oppression or disagreement, which we accept too strongly. These are hard lessons, they throw us into sadness and depression, suffering and self-criticism, it is not difficult to reach self-flagellation, self-blame and vulnerability.

I develop this chapter below, but why do I even include it: because it is as critical as the insult cunningly and quietly creeps into our minds. One day, a person simply starts saying “No!” to things he used to enthusiastically shout “Yes!”. We are starting to take fewer risks because “what am I going to do – this world doesn’t deserve me, with my gifts, and what I can give!”

What Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to be in the world” – of course, it’s so easy to say and write, especially nowadays, when on social networks you will be overwhelmed with thumbs and hearts, replacing the frustrations written on our faces. It has become so much easier to hide in the virtual, to simulate happiness and success, that now Gandhi-type wisdoms who are here to help us deal with the world are burying us deeper and deeper into the depressing digital facade. Just like the crying clown Paliachi.

The Difficulty

One of the greatest trials is to be ourselves. It is especially difficult with age and disappointments, shattered dreams or fallen illusions about who we are and where we are. It is easy then to look for the great bad villain (“the system is to blame”, “people are to blame”, “times are like that”, etc.).

This should not interrupt our exchange with the world: the Inner World with the Outter World; your inner mirror with the outter landscape of life.

Despite the difficulty, because after enough experience one begins to draw more definite conclusions about how to treat people, and this inevitably leads to fewer compromises, we should not hide the bitterness of difficult situational moments. They stop us from developing, they do not give us peace, they do not allow us to see, despite what has happened, what we can take from the situation. This difficulty is better known as “adult cynicism”, but we do not need to reach the third age for it, some reach cynicism much earlier.


The more intelligence and knowledge grow, the more one realizes one’s loneliness. An interesting phenomenon, interesting directions of thought, however, can often be very destructive. Self-accusation, self-flagellation, too critical assessment of things, belittling of our own abilities and merits creep in.

In psychology, the term for belittling is called “minimization”: “Minimization is a type of deception involving denial combined with rationalization in situations where complete denial is implausible. That’s the opposite of exaggeration. “

Who are the people most prone to “insulting the world”? Most are highly intelligent, principled, striving for an ideal or morality; also people with a defined opinion, those who find it difficult to change for something, purposeful, sometimes stubborn.

It is dangerous for them, they are prone not only to be affected, but to harbor pain for too long, and both the clogging of a fountain and the pain clog the channels of emotion and insight for themselves. Hidden pain sometimes erodes, but most often it outlines protective walls around a person, isolates himself from people, society and the world so that he “does not get hurt again.” Such a strong defensive reaction, although one can always try to smile, but it will only be a very great facial effort of a well-disguised unhappy picture.

Some good narrower examples we can see in:

  • Comedians. Yes, everyone who is a comedian, a jester, an actor of merriment, hides its deep problems through the laughter and merriment of the crowd. Even if we take modern stand-up comedians and comedian actors, there are many interesting interviews that show their vulnerable soul. They really confirm that humor is a mechanism for dealing with harsh reality, and those who vocalize humor in such an obvious way are often sensitive people who overcome depression or simply difficulty through laughter and sometimes through audience approval.
  • Phenomena and empaths. I’m not talking about crystal ball charlatans, I’m talking about more sensitive people who have a slightly broader view of the world. They can empathetically sense upcoming situations that super-intelligent people can reach the same conclusions through deduction and rigorous analysis – but this does not spare disappointment. One sometimes encounters more sensitive people who intuitively embrace the world without following world trends and know life through their senses, but these senses run the risk of being more easily accessible places to stab the daggers of life.
  • The geniuses. Geniuses in every field – creative, scientific, craft. These are the super-intelligent people, naturally gifted, who can develop separate areas of knowledge or talents. They, like phenomenals/empaths, are just as sensitive. You can see biographies and documentaries about geniuses from all walks of life and their difficult trials, often in a social aspect and communication with life – that is, people and the world; society and everyday life.

Conclusion of Bravery

Definitely courage is this circumstance, which does not allow the insult and pain to crush the person, and he decides to rush forward again, knowing and feeling that it is possible to have pain again and it is so hard again. Courage will be what we put on as armor and shield when we face the fires of the dragon of depression, wound, disappointment in our expectations of the world, people and our communication.

And as the years go by, one sees that the “wheel is spinning” and wants to strengthen one’s skin to endure the “scourge of fate,” as Shakespeare puts it: “To be or not to be is the question that torments us all? “. A whole monologue of the suffering and the inevitable questions and desires of each of us in the stages of life. And the funny thing is that in the same play, the main character, a Danish prince, holds in his hand the skull of the jester Yorick and asks “Why?”, consoling himself that the court jester knows all the universal secrets of suffering perception of the world.

It is courage, yes, courage to be yourself, to look for edification, to look for the good, while a huge part of the world is still immersed in misery, suffering, wars, diseases and so on. I would call this a real Miracle: not to crush the spark of the Universal Man with all the variety of the Cosmos, which can be gathered in the four compartments of the heart and the window of the soul.

Exchange is most important: pure exchange is the balance between constructive selfishness (because personal growth is an inward direction; with this type of selfishness we improve to have something to share with others), and constructive altruism (because no matter how difficult life is, in the right giving, the right good is the bridge over which the exchange itself takes place).

For all who want to keep this crystal clear feeling, in the midst of the vast darkness of intertwined human sorrows and destinies; for all these people: Be brave, be yourself, overcome!

Author: Dimo Vasilev