Monthly Archive for October, 2008

why should I give (for nothing)?

We’ve all been in sit­u­a­tions where we are expected to give. Let’s say I’m in a team project and I’m expected to con­tribute a fair amount; maybe when I see an elderly trying to cross the street, I’m expected to give a help­ing hand; even when I want to fill my stom­ach and go down the con­ve­nience store, I’m expected to give money.

On a very prim­i­tive level, we can think of the reason that we give is because we’ll receive. If I con­tribute my fair share in the team project, we all enjoy a good end result. Obvi­ously if I paid in a con­ve­nience store for some food I get a sat­is­fied stom­ach. Yah, even if I help the elderly across the street I’d get a warm feel­ing in my heart.

And then there are cases where I don’t know why the fuck I’m giving, or giving more than I’m expected. Those are cases where I feel very fuck­ing bad. When for some very weird reason I’m expected to give more than other people in a team, and other people seem to take it for granted.

Don’t get me wrong here. I think giving is gen­er­ally a good thing. I once thought noth­ing was more divine than uncon­di­tional giving. Jesus Christ is wor­shipped by many because he gave his life uncon­di­tion­ally to wash the sins of all people, for all of our greater good. But hey, I’m just a human, why should I give more than nec­es­sary for other people, when I don’t get any­thing in return?

…when I don’t get any­thing, not even some kind words of appre­ci­a­tion, because other people fuck­ing take it for granted?

Giving is a beau­ti­ful thing, but it turns into the syn­onym of “stupid”, “being used” quickly when it is not reciprocated.

I have been think­ing very hard about this. I’ve been trying to make this world a better place for every­one, by giving a little bit more. But most of the time, the world has not become a better place for me. So tell me, why should I be the guy who makes more con­tri­bu­tions than it needs be? If no one in a group of people is going to take the last extra mile to get some­thing done, then why should I be that guy if nobody will appre­ci­ate it? Why shouldn’t I, like every­body else, let the whole thing sink and we all lose?

I have failed to find the answer, and the more I searched for it, the more I’m lean­ing into that the only ratio­nal answer is,

“You shouldn’t.”

the magic cross

Stare at the black cross below. You’ll see the purple dots start to dis­ap­pear! You’ve got to stare at it pretty hard for this trick to work. Prob­a­bly about 30 sec­onds to a minute.