· Kindness,Love,Taking Action

Give, Not to Take

A college friend of mine chose to explore, for his thesis, the psychology behind what we call in Tagalog "utang na loob." In English, it translates to owing someone for a good deed extended to them.

But it's more than that. It has a more nuanced meaning for Filipinos.

In America, when someone does something nice for you, you're "even" after doing something nice back. There's even a term for it, you "call it quits."

In the Philippines, there's no equivalent term or phrase for that. There's an unspoken assumption, agreement even, that the person helped is indebted for life. There's nothing wrong with that, per se, if that's the stance the helpee freely wants to assume. But some people, those in the position to "help," would sometimes abuse it not to necessarily extend aid but to manipulate.

To hold control.

To gain a pawn for later.

That mindset, that habit, that way of life, can be toxic.

You end up treating every connection, every relationship, every person, every situation as a business transaction.

How can you truly love without the ability to give without expecting anything in return?

How can you immerse yourself in the experience of a beautiful relationship where two people give of themselves simply because they love the other person?

How can you be kind, in the real sense of the word, if you're only thinking about yourself, how people would perceive you, after the deed?

The ironic thing is, those who genuinely give, those who are truly selfless, helping out of love and compassion without any other ulterior motive, reap the most respect. Are most loved. The most at peace. Free from worries. And effortlessly gain and enjoy the most loyal and loving relationships.

All because they treated people as people...not a transaction.

The Golden Rule is golden for a reason. If we lived just by this one rule, how different the world can be. How awesome our lives can be. How peaceful our relationships can be.

How happy we can be.

When we remove "I owe you one" from our vocabulary. When we forget about "we're even." Because everything that's given is both the beginning and the end. Every kindness extended simply out of love. Everyone pulling each other up knowing we're all the same and there's one place we all want to go.

Today, observe how you react when an opportunity to help arises. They're everywhere. You can even create them yourself. And when you take action, ask yourself, is it out of love or something else? And if it was you on the other end, how would you want to be treated? As a transaction? Or as a fellow human being?

A Life Well Lived Team

"Learn to love without condition. Talk without bad intention. Give without any reason. And most of all, care for people without any expectation."

P.S. We're all on the same boat sailing to reach the same destination. Join your fellow life students at A Life Well Lived.

1. Practice kindness in every interaction. Click here.

2. Napoleon Hill's principles for success. Click here.