Give and Take

A couple of days ago, my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I took two breaths then answered simply, ‘nothing.’ I have been receiving my whole life. I have gotten so used to receiving that sometimes, I feel like…I feel I’m just taking.

And I have taken so much from this world.

So many gifts have been given to me in my lifetime. So many presents have sat waiting, wrapped under a tree, with my name on them. Awaiting my waking eyes and rushed excitement. Ready to be torn open.

And I took them all. All for myself.

My greed unfortunately doesn’t stop at material gifts. I have taken much more.

Career opportunities have shown themselves, and I’ve seized them like a hungry man would food. Gobbling them up and not looking back at the people who lost out. Or who were let go.

I have taken so many well wishes and positive thoughts, thoughts that I felt I needed from people. I took them. I hoarded them in my tough times. These were times when billions of people around the world would have looked at my situation and wondered how someone could have so much and be so fortunate, yet still be in such a bad way.

I have taken all this love. I have taken all this friendship. I have taken all these great moments with some of the most incredible people in the world. Even in times when I didn’t deserve them.

I have taken what God has given me…working arms and legs, a sound mind, a working heart…and I have used them almost solely to my own benefit. To better my situation. To better my family’s situation.

I have been given this gift of putting words together on paper. And I used it to further myself.

I just continue taking.

And I also take from this Earth. I have taken warm rays from the sun. And fresh food that grows from the ground. I take oxygen every day. Every minute. Every few seconds. Take…exhale…take…exhale…take…

And I give back to the earth by recycling…most times. When it’s not too inconvenient.

I have been taking all these things, while people are starving. While people are suffering. While kids, children no older than my own, are dying slow deaths due to lack of proper nutrition or the right medication…which is a product of a lack of wealth. Just because they were born in a 3rd world country. Or the wrong part of my own country.

It’s not that I won’t continue taking, I just want my giving to equal or exceed that. I just want to give.

I have given back, but just a bit. I feel like it is 1/10 of all that I have taken. I need to receive so little now, in order to be happy with my life.

All I want to do for this season is to give. I want to give for this holiday. I want to give for the rest of my life.

I just want to give.

I know this blog gives back to some people. I feel like this is just the tip of what I can do. It is the tip of a mountain of giving within me that is currently underwater. And I want the rest of it to come to the surface.

Enjoy your holidays this year. Whatever it is you are celebrating.

Most of you will get something. Or many somethings. Just promise me that you will receive with overwhelming gratitude. And that you will consider giving anything you can.