Give or Take


Writing is a form of original art.  It’s an expression of the artist just as paint on a canvas, or the song by the musician. It is not every work that becomes a masterpiece, but that one special piece that plums the depths of their heart, the depths of their minds, their souls, their pain or joy. A selfish writer expresses the selfishness in his work.  It’s focused on him: perhaps he features himself, not necessarily by name, but he’s in the work because he’s egocentric.  ( You could easily place her in here for pronouns for my reference I am using him.)

They are the takers, it’s always all about them.  They boast about their own work on forums and groups.  They toss out their  “brilliance” in a conversation that the rest of us are expected to recognize as such even though it stops the conversation cold.  They never ask what others are doing, they could care less.  What someone else is doing has little bearing on them because they are takers.

Givers on the other hand make the best artists and writers.  They pour out of themselves, sometimes emptying  themselves in their work.    They share from their hurts in order that someone else might not have to go through the same pain.  They share the lessons they’ve learned, not to sound superior but that the new guy won’t have to start at the very beginning.  They ask questions in the group, not to steal ideas but because they view you as an equal.  When someone has a problem, they offer assistance  or tried to advise where to find the assistance.

We all know takers and the rare giver.  The piece doesn’t have  to solve world hunger, or even offer a cure for stage 4 cancer.  It expresses a compassion and a depth that the taker can never muster.  It speaks to the reader because the writer “knows” from their inner being the struggle, or issue, or topic they are addressing. Sometimes takers try to copy this, but it never lasts long because sooner or later it has to be about them and no pretense in the world can disguise a calloused, egocentric, uncaring heart.

Takers prey on the giver, like a parasite.  Sometimes it’s subtle at first, like an ambient host relationship, but eventually the taker begins to drain the life force of the giver to a degree that even the most naive trusting soul can see clearly what’s going on. I’ve been duped, taken advantage of and I let myself think I was helping.  It’s at that point of feeling drained when it finally comes together  and I realize that I feel like the biggest fool in the world.  The sad thing is I’ve allowed several takers to occupy a great deal of my time. I saw the signs in their writing, I should have recognized it.

I realize with the techno savvy crowd, and the uber  stylish that handmade, home crafted items are out of favor.  However, to some a gift made with love and personalized is often cherished above the commercially produced product that is cranked out in factories by the truckload.  I’ve made hand crafted cards, afghans, quilts, and various craft items that have been both appreciated and ridiculed.  Recently I spent a great deal of time learning jewelry craft, learning a Celtic braid, and making a handcrafted item.  The main part of the jewelry: the findings, clasp and the pendent itself were sterling silver.  It was a one of a kind piece, similar to another but yet unique.

At the point when I realize the person is a taker, and has been milking my sense of compassion they let it slip that they didn’t care for the piece and passed it on to another.  Usually not a big deal, except for the time and effort I put into the handmade item.  The statement was “I don’t know what jeweler you used but they are crap.”   OUCH!

I don’t expect people to like everything I do, or say, or make.  Normally it probably would be no big deal except for the recent revelations of their style.  It hurt to hear that my efforts failed, it hurt to hear that the person didn’t even appreciate the efforts, but what hurt the most was when I listened to their words, I realized I inferred a whole lot more than was ever there.  I guess that’s not really their fault, is it?

I can’t just stop wanting to give to my friends, because I  get a great amount of joy in giving to whatever capacity I am able.  I’m not buying anyone diamonds or rubies here so no great financial loss.  Maybe that was the bottom issue, the handmade is often interpreted as cheap. But, as with some of the handmade items, if I change one little word – handmade to handcrafted – they now have a higher perceived value.  Is it really any different though?  I suppose it depends on what you place your value on.  Friendship?  Relationship?  Money?

Takers will always take, and givers will always give.  It’s the nature of what they are in their inner being.  Once you know , then you can deal with it accordingly without getting hurt.  I won’t stop giving gifts.  But for the takers, perhaps I’ll stick to generic store-bought cards.

Write on My Friends, write on!

 

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4 comments on “Give or Take

  1. Wow, harsh jeweler comment from someone you just gave a gift to!! I love giving handmade afghans, scarves, bags and so on to my close friends and family. But I agree…known takers will get a store bought card and like it!!

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  2. Great commentary! Part of the reason why I don’t put out my work on my blog is because I am wary of takers; but hey, if they want to bounce ideas off me, I’m there to give!! I love that you are, too!

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  3. They are the takers, it’s always all about them. They boast about their own work on forums and groups. They toss out their “brilliance” in a conversation that the rest of us are expected to recognize as such even though it stops the conversation cold. They never ask what others are doing, they could care less. What someone else is doing has little bearing on them because they are takers.

    Like

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