Becoming a Giver

Businesses and institutions develop an “agenda” to meet their goals. The soul also has a goal - maturing from a taker into a giver. What is the soul’s agenda and how does it fit with our notion of freedom? 

3 min

Lori Steiner

Posted on 07.07.24

It is a fact that we come into this world as takers. Babies need constant care physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This idea is so obvious that it does not need much explanation. However, as we grow, we realize that others have needs too, and if we are raised by parents who are attuned to the importance of growing into becoming a giver and who are givers themselves, we naturally are led to feel the gratification that comes from giving to others. Remaining a taker is self-serving and often results from a sense of lack, unfulfillment emotionally and spiritually, and from parents and caretakers who overuse the importance of material amenities and the needs of the ego to pacify and to gladden. 


How can we explain this? Too many parents, grandparents, caretakers, and even teachers fall into the trap of rewarding to excess at every possible moment for reasons such as to avoid or to curtail behavioral outbursts, to win favor with a child, to make a child happy in the moment, to distract, to indulge, to mistakenly think that momentary happiness equates to a healthy self-esteem, and to celebrate milestones and achievements. These things have their place for sure, but when we turn to gift-giving and rewarding at every turn, we run the risk of children getting over-stimulated and requiring the acquisition of more rewards, gifts, accolades, fun, and externalities. What Is meant by “requiring”?  


“Requiring” feels like a nagging unfulfilled need. When we expose our children to things that appeal to the ego and when we overdo anything, we run the risk of them or us, for that matter, relying upon these external elements to the point of addiction. Then, when we don’t receive more and more, we feel despondent. When the flood stops, the recipient can become depressed as s/he feels a sense of lack, a kind of dissatisfaction with what is, and a constant desire and nagging craving for more things, more entertainment, more sweets, more gifts, more stimulation, and more ego-building power. 


This unhealthy craving and desire for more has the potential to lead to jealousy, coveting, and addictions to such sins as pornography, smoking, drug use, abuse of others, and turning to alcohol and food to numb the pain that emanates from the cravings that are difficult to control. These are symptoms of a soul in pain. 


Western culture tends to cultivate this unnatural tendency that results in unhealthy expectations that, if not satisfied, bring feelings of disappointment, entitlement, and negativity. Then what happens? We have a society of narcissists and people who will do anything to get “ahead” and to fill the troublesome void. To the extreme and if widespread, this state of mind — of self-absorption — can create anarchy, lawlessness, and all kinds of social problems. We are seeing the effects of this kind of mentality in our culture today. To simplify this scenario, we have not matured from infancy. We have failed to transition from being a taker to being a giver. We have forgotten the agenda of our soul or perhaps never learned what souls need. We have demolished all boundaries in a misdirected interpretation of “freedom”.  


The first step in solving a problem is the recognition and clear understanding of the root of the concern. The issue is not capitalism per say. Rather, the issue is the way we approach freedom and what true freedom is: to be free of the ego nagging for more and to satisfy the pure needs of the soul. 


By allowing human beings to determine what is right and what is wrong, we are faced with a multiplicity of opinions that conflict with each other. There is no foundation upon which absolute truth is recognized and honored. The world was created to spread immutable Divine truths from the blueprint of creation—the holy Torah. The Torah is a manual for living with purpose – living ethically and morally. The manual for living with G-d rather than in opposition to Him has not been propagated and exemplified enough by the Jewish nation, and the result has become a world that is shaking for lack of a proper foundation grounded in G-dliness.  A world that does not recognize and live by the dictates of a Higher Power is a world in chaos. Anarchy is the result. 


Becoming a giver is at the root of it all. We must “give” up our opinions on those matters that have an absolute standard from the Torah and be willing to humble ourselves to understand the real definition of freedom. Ultimately, we transition from wanting more to becoming more: to feel gratitude for what we have; to develop a strong desire to help rather than harm; to give rather than take; and to teach values like study, patience, empathy, kindness, connection to Hashem, diligence, and purity. The transition to becoming more comes from a desire to elevate our consciousness and to combat evil through this elevation. It starts in the home. When we elevate ourselves, we elevate our children, and by so doing, we elevate the world.  



Lori is an educator and life optimization coach. Her book entitled Living in Happiness: The Call to Return is available on BookBaby Bookshop currently with a 20% discount for our readers, when applying the code UNITY20.

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