Sustaining friendships for most is a balance between giving and taking. It is however not a clean transaction at all time; when someone needs emotional support when sorting child support help or they’ve lost their job, they will do the leaning on. In such a case, the friend with “lesser” issues will have to put away what’s in their heart and be there for the friend. It is, in such a case, a seemingly selfish and selfless relationship.
However, there ought to be another way of looking at this. When we give something expecting something in return, we set ourselves up for disappointment. The greatest people we know about had selflessness to them where they championed a cause expecting nothing in return. To then, the act of giving was not dependent on how many cameras showed up at their doorstep. It was also not about who sent them donations to keep their selfless projects afloat.
We as friends and humans, in general, should consider adopting such an attitude of giving. This type of giving should not be dependent on how a friend or family member will respond. It is a “no strings attached” kind of relationship that we can manage our expectations and do things out of the kindness of our hearts. For most of us, if not all, it is something we are not taught to do when young, if ever. It is, however, worth taking steps to cultivate.
The relationship between love and giving
Unconditional love implies that there is nothing another can do to get cut off from the “privilege” of being loved. When a parent does right, a child grows up with the awareness that the love their parents have for them is not based on what they do but who they are. When we love a friend, in the same way, we create an environment for them to heal as they begin to experience what it means to be truly loved.
Loving and giving are not meant to be unique things that to a point we want to make a movie out of someone’s life doing it. It should be a posture that we adapt every day for those who need us most. If you have a friend in your life, go out of your way for them for absolutely no reason, and watch the shift in their behavior. You will, of course, notice that who take advantage of you (this is life, and such people exist) but when you find the right person to shower love on, unconditionally and selfishly, do so. When you note the change in them for the better, you’ll appreciate the power of selfless love. Only don’t forget to give the same to yourself.