Be mindful of your intention, Because they may be self-serving….
We operate in a world that celebrates the ideology of “I will scratch your back if you scratch mine” and no this is not ubuntu. We give because it suits us we help because we help ourselves. What can be bad in this, is that the person we give is not made better in the giving but somehow may find themselves slaves to a system they did not help create. There are many who would us to think that they are good. But we know better.
We know that those good deeds have a price and it is one too high for many to pay but we are often forced to because we have been placed at the edge of a cliff to jump and take our chances with the sharks below or to yield and live with the one above water. So many surrender because they want to survive. We need therefore, to question the intention of the person giving. How we contextualize their act of kindness based on their track record. If we take the time to properly do our research maybe we can avoid the trap of a self-serving giver. Maybe I am overly cautious or a bit of a cynic, but it’s rare to find someone who gives without conditions; it’s hard especially when we begin to lie to ourselves about our true intentions.
Especially when we giving with the intention that this good deed may someday benefit us and a favor given will be returned, we have not given unconditionally. There are those who will only give when the giving is recognized and praised; they can do nothing behind closed doors, because they are public giver depending on the adulation of the crowd. By the time they decide to give, they have forgotten about the receiver, and are looking forward to the reward. So the receiver becomes a means to an end; their end.
There are persons who will “kill you with kindest”, and many will take this too far for too long. In their minds their adversary becomes wholly bad and they, wholly good. They do not recognize that they begin to house the monster they are vanquishing from that person. There is a sense of immeasurable pleasure that many get by carrying out the quote above to the bitter end; even if the person being taught the lesson has moved on and you still hold on because your kindness has underlining bitterness and resentment that you have taken and now operate in.
There are many reasons we give and not all of them altruistic. We need to be more mindful of the reasons why we give. If we give from a place of selfishness then there is absolutely no value in that giving. If our giving largely benefits us or was always intended to benefit us then the act is compromised. If when we give to someone it is to exert control over the relationship, then that relationship is broken. It is not in the act of giving that we get blessings, but it is in the intention behind the act.