Giving

Stop Being Free

One of the realities of life that you may not want to confront but you must is sometimes you have to give people exactly what they want.  Along the same lines, you must sometimes ask people for exactly what you want.  From time to time, it’s vital to show people that you will stop doing things for them when they are unwilling to do things for you.  People will want you to go all out the way for them, but when you ask them to do something for you, there are always excuses and artificial justifications for why they cannot do exactly what you ask of them.

Let people know that you will withhold your giving to them when they are never willing to do exactly what you ask of them.  Don’t be afraid to ask people for exactly what you want.  Stop sugarcoating your requests—just ask for what you want, how you want it, and when you want it!

People need to know that you are made of something.  Stop just letting them get all of you for free.  If you truly believe that you are valuable, then, from time to time, start getting something in exchange for the things you do for people.  In no way am I suggesting that you should ask people for something in return for everything you do for them.  What I am saying, however, is to occasionally request people to do something for you in return for what you do for them.  Please know that you are not being selfish when you occasionally request for people to do something in return for what you do for them.

You have to learn to be fairer to yourself.

If people try to give you a significant amount of resistance to your requests for them to do something in return for what you do for them, then simply don’t do what they want you to do for them.  Sometimes people learn the most from tough love.  Tough love can cause people to do the critical self-examinations they so desperately need to do.

The bible informs us that people are worthy of their service.  Therefore, think about this each time you ask someone to do something for you.

Of course, we need more people across the world to become more selfless.  This does not mean that we need more people across the world to be more foolish in their giving, however.  When people love and respect you enough, they will know (without being told) that they need to honor your requests for them to do something in return for what they request you to do.

Sometimes you have to let people suffer before they will realize that they need to treat you better.  As the bible evinces, suffering brings about correction.  We are surrounded by so many people who need correction.  Far too many people are too consumed with what they want and need that they never consider the desires and needs of other people.  Don’t love yourself so much that you cannot use your eyes and heart to discern what you can do to meet the longings and needs of others.

Stop being free!  Put a price tag on yourself sometimes.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Don’t Be a Leech

You should not always have your hands stuck out begging. At some point, you should have something to offer to someone else. When people give to you, learn how to give back to them. People will start to hate seeing you come around them because they know you will have something that you want them to do for you. Do you have people in your life who only call, email, text, and/or visit you when they want something from you and you never hear from them until they want something? Today, I want to let you know they are leeches. If you continue to feed leeches, they will zap all of the blood out of you. You may not understand what’s going on with how you feel,  why things are not going right in your life, why it seems that you don’t have enough time in the day, and/or why you are not able to meet your daily responsibilities. You need to check for leeches in your life. Leeches could be the very reason you are not progressing, improving, and/or feeling the way that you long to feel.

Don’t be so compassionate that you allow people to crumble your foundation. You have to be wise in your giving. Always examine your giving and make sure that you are giving to the right people and places. You are not the savior of the world, so don’t attempt to help too many people because you will be denying yourself from the great things that you need to enjoy for yourself. Helping too many people on your own is simply not healthy and not wise. You will physically, mentally, and emotionally weigh yourself down with stress when you are trying to help everyone. When you need some help, watch how many of those people who you helped will be there for you.

People will hang around you and contact you just to get benefits from you. Now, this can be expected from the complete strangers you may help or the random people you meet, but it’s those friends and family members you have to be more alert about being leeches. Leeches are not always easy to detect. We allow friends and family members to occupy certain spaces in our life that we don’t allow others to occupy. This is the reason why we have to have on more protective clothing when we are around our friends and family—they could be the greatest leeches we have on us. If you are always thoroughly examining yourself, then you will know if your friends and family members are leeches.

We often make ourselves too vulnerable to people who we believe love us and have our best interest in mind. You need to understand that you need to constantly assess those who you make yourself vulnerable to in some way. It can be the venomous people around you who are killing you and pushing you off of your road to greatness. The people who you love and trust can be the very people who are simply using you for what they can get from you. You cannot sit there and allow folks to suck all of the blood out of you and not have enough left for yourself.

I know that it might be difficult to think about your loved ones being leeches, but you have to be willing to examine them as potential leeches. Guard yourself in wise ways. Build necessary walls with certain people in your life. We hear a significant amount of discourse about tearing down walls, but there needs to be more discussion about building necessary walls. Walls exist for a purpose: to make sure that not just anyone can enter.

Beware of the leeches out there—they might be some people you least expect! If you are consciously a leech, stop being one today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ungratefulness is Not a Good Look

When someone does something for you, you should have the decency to thank him or her. Now, you don’t have to thank people everyday for something they have done for you, but you should be eternally grateful for what they have done for you. When someone has helped you to get to the mountaintop, don’t look at them while you’re on the mountaintop like “who are you?” Reality check: This is the same person who was on the mountaintop before he or she threw you a rope to help you get on the mountaintop. Don’t ever forget this!

You can be on the mountaintop today and in the dark abyss tomorrow. You better start appreciating those people who have demonstrated nothing but a willing to help you. When someone who has proven to be a person who can and will help you, don’t get an attitude with him or her the moment he or she is unable to assist you. To get an attitude with someone who has proven time and time again to be a selfless giver to you, this manifests your true ungratefulness. Ungratefulness has its provenance in selfishness. You may be able to call me many things, but ungrateful is one thing that you cannot truthfully call me.

In no way am I asserting that you need to become a slave to the people who help you. You shouldn’t be a slave for any person! What you should be is an appreciative person who acknowledges the things that others have done and do for you. People often don’t take the time to reflect on how much others are helping them. They simply take for granted the help that others are constantly providing them. I encourage you to never take for granted the help that people give you. What are you going to do when you no longer receive the help that you so desperately need to continue to receive? You can sit back and act like you will survive without it. You probably will survive without their help but you certainly will be significantly impacted by this loss of help over time.

Those who give to others should not hold their generosity over the heads of others either. If you are going to be a true giver, don’t look for people to have a banquet in your honor each time you evince your selflessness. It’s more than reasonable for you to expect a simple thank you each time that you do something for others, however. You are well within reason to expect people to show gratitude for the things you do for them. Just don’t be the type of person who uses his or her abilities as ways to make people do what you want them to do. Moreover, I encourage you to not be the type of person who constantly reminds people of everything you have done and do for them. When you do this, it comes across as you have done and do those things for them for sheer recognition. You can be selfish in the way in which you give too—acknowledge that!

It’s just right to do right!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison