Are You A Giver Or A Taker?
I believe “Doers” are givers. I’ve been reflecting on the idea that I am impressed by people who are Doers, impressed with how cordial and giving they are. Let me explain…
During the holiday season, my wife and I love to have parties. So, yep! We are having a Christmas party to toast and celebrate the incredible and extraordinary people we know who are doing awesome things. When I asked my wife about a particular individual we were thinking about inviting she said, “what does he do or contribute?” I paused and thought, not a lot…he’s a taker. Then I asked myself how many other takers there were on the guest list and there weren’t any others that I would call takers.
I was in a meeting with these two extraordinary people at the home of Prince Charles, Highgrove House. It was just us three and I remember I had an ah-ha! moment, recognizing the clear difference between givers and takers.
HRH got tea for us. He poured the tea and refilled our tea—he wanted to be clear that he was serving us. He was anxious to learn from Dave, an expert in sustainable agriculture, what he could do to promote organic agriculture on his own farm. He wanted to know what practices he could use on his own organic farm as an example for people that visited the farm. It was great just to watch how two people can come together and talk about the selfless activities they are willing to take on to make the planet a better place.
HRH supports 19 personal charities and spends over 250 nights per year doing fundraising for causes. There is no question he is a giver. You might be thinking that he was born into privilege and yes, he was and still lives in that privilege. But when you get to know the man––his virtues and values––he is inspiring. He is a Doer. A leader in organic agriculture, in climate change and many other causes. His book, Harmony, and the movie, Harmony, are a great insight into his thoughts and ideas. If you get the chance, read the book and watch the movie.
Now, Dave wasn’t born into that kind of privilege. His dad was a crop duster who worked in Colorado. But Dave has a career built on giving. Giving his time, his compassion and his commitment to causes that make the world a better place for all of us. I haven’t told him (until now) that I have always been inspired by Dave’s willingness to jump in and help anyone, no matter what.
He has built an incredible legacy while giving. Dave, too, is an incredible “Doer.” Dave has two incredible business accomplishments: 1) the USDA Organic Standards would not exist without the tireless and dedicated work done by Dave as chair of the National Organic Standards Board; and 2) the Bison Industry would not be at $350 million dollars in revenue without his stewardship. These are business accomplishments, but his personal and family contributions are immeasurable.
The thing about Prince Charles and Dave Carter is that they both continue giving and giving, all the time, making the world a better place and people around them warm and comfortable.
It begs the question, are you a giver or a taker? You can’t be both. If you are a giver, please keep giving. If you are a taker and you want to change, its simple and it can start today. There is no better time to start than the holiday season or the “season of giving.” Do something nice for someone else right this minute. Send a note or text, take some action on their behalf––anything. When someone calls you to do something in the next 24 hours, do it for them without thinking about yourself. I’m sure you get the picture!
If nothing else, ask yourself if you are a giver or taker in any particular situation and remember there is no middle ground, so face it and deal with it. I hope you make the choice to be a giver. Recognize how your world will change for the better, all around you, if you become a giver. Because people want to do business with givers. People want to be in social circles with givers.
I hope next year, my wife and I will have a bigger venue for the givers in our circle of friends.
Here’s to the givers and doers—