I Give Something, I Get Something

Today, as I walked out of the underground car park in Dublin I spotted a Homeless lad sitting with his plastic cup.

I went over with money and dropped it in his cup and asked him ”How do I get to ”X” street? He pointed me in the direction of one street and said, when you get there ask someone again and they will point you in the right direction as it’s not as easy to direct from here”.

Great so I did that and before I left I asked him how he was doing and I moved on. It wasn’t until I was half way up the street did it begin to dawn upon me I gave no charity at all.

I gave it to him because I needed his help. I didn’t give to him out of the goodness of my heart with no strings attached, rather I saw something he could give me and that if I gave him this thing he needed he would agree to help me. They call it the language of reciprocity where you give something to someone and they feel obliged to respond.

For example when someone salutes you ”Hello” and you feel the need to reciprocate with a ”Hello” back this is known as the language of reciprocity.

That language is as you see it on an obvious platform, but it’s at its more dangerous when it is hidden. We are always looking for something in return even on an emotional level. We are using people all the time and rarely do we ever realize this.

We seek to develop friendships with those who share only the same opinions and religious beliefs as us. We use them to satisfy our desire to talk about spiritual matters. Everything we do always has ”Me, me, me ” in there doesn’t it?

This sounds like a challenging one but when I see a man protect a woman from a mugger, I often wonder what motivates him to do it, is it the thought of being praised the local hero and receiving the medal of honor? If so can it really be called charity?

Charity in truth is when we spring into action without any selfish motive at all. I often wonder why Catholics create blogs like this one or online videos like Michael Voris. Is it because we are looking for the approval of our Catholic peers?

I always ask myself why why why why. But today I was caught off guard that the Lord may humble me lest I become too proud.

I give something, I get something. I give the Lord an hour of my time today because I really need a cure from this tumor, but before the tumor I gave him no time at all. We do the same with God, always asking, never giving and always giving with an expectation of an answer to our prayer or demands.

Give to charity but don’t look for a pat on the back. Give in truth not with a premeditated plan to get something in return. God bless.




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2 thoughts on “I Give Something, I Get Something

  1. I think it can also be a mix of motives. The guy who springs into action to protect his girlfriend might want to be considered the local hero AND want to make sure his girlfriend is ok. But I totally agree that not checking our motives at all is a horrible idea.

    • Oh of course, I wouldn’t advocate not springing into action regardless of the premise of the motive but it’s simply being aware of why we do it and how the self always seems to get in there somehow.

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