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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Givers/Doers & Takers/Talkers

Though mundane household tasks like mowing, vacuuming, and shoveling can be boring, on occasion, the mindlessness of those tasks has helped me land on a useful insight. When did you last stumble onto an insight while doing an uninspiring chore? 

While digging out from the recent storm, my brain wandered to a bi-polar construct I've reflected on many times over the years, i.e. givers vs. takers. Possibly due to the mindlessness of shoveling, my mind leaped to what struck me as a parallel bi-polar construct. Try comparing what I posit below to your experiences with people you know or have known.  

In my experience, people who are more inclined to give as much or more than they receive are often the same people whose words count. Any promises they make are mostly followed by action. In other words, the givers are also often the doers. 

Conversely, people more inclined to take as much or more than they give are often the same people who have more difficulty with commitment. Even when intent is there, follow through is frequently spotty. In other words, the takers are also often the talkers.

By definition, all bi-polar constructs are reductive and, when applied to real world situations, can easily lead to stereotyping. Caution is always prudent when suggesting they have wide applicability. That said, I'll stand by my formulation today and continue looking for evidence that contradicts it.    



  1. Good morning, Pat. Another insightful post. I actually enjoy the mundane tasks you referenced. Although my wife telling me that I vacuum better than she does may just be a not-so-subtle means of getting me to to this. In any case, I enjoy it, and mowing the lawn and other related yard work. Shoveling and snowplowing is also on that list, as it is on yours, but to a lessor degree. But only because its just so cold - lol. However, all of these tasks allow my mind to wander and, as you shared, other things are allowed to enter. I totally agree with your assessment of Givers/Takers and Takers/Talkers. While I have always tried to me more of the former and less of the latter, I'm also guilty of having crossed that line. Thankfully it's been a rare occurrence.
    Be well .. Enjoy the snow. And here's to looking forward to the warm weather months and those mind wandering chores that await us.

    1. RRGRMG; Your frequent comments and kind feedback are sustaining; thanks for that. I too have "crossed the line", probably not as rarely as you. But as Joan Didion once commented "I don't know what I think about something until I write about it.", writing about these bi-polar constructs, and my life experience with others, has helped me stay on the giver/doer side of the ledger enough that I feel good about myself.