We have a complicated internal narrative when it comes to giving and receiving. We like to be the one who gives but we don’t often receive well. We feel good about ourselves when we donate to charity but none of us wants to feel like a “charity case”. We like how it feels to pick up the tab for dinner but we are borderline offended when anyone makes a move to pick it up on our behalf.
When it comes to philanthropy, we like to give more than we like to receive for one simple reason. We like the power of being the giver. We like the control we have (we can give as much as we want but no more). We are in the driver’s seat.
This, in turn, affects the way we give and the way we perceive our interactions with others. We do not give (let alone receive) under the umbrella of a WE narrative, a community helping one another out. Of which we are a small part. Instead, we give so we might feel better, be liked (or seen as noble/generous) by others.
The Golden Rule is not just about equitable bartering. It is about perception; a call to see one another. We are each given the opportunity to steward our resources, affections, and character. We share these with one another not just in a transactional sense, using one another like chips on a table. We are meant to share these opportunities with one another, in love, as a community who needs one another.