I have always has a problem with the phrase “giving back”
You’ve heard it before
- Give back to the parents who raised you
- Giving back to the community
- Giving back to God
This is incorrect. It’s just another way our culture is oh-so-gently getting us to feel guilty when they want us to give.
I’m a giver, you are too
I love to give. Why do I have a hard time with the phrase of “giving back”?
It was during a sermon that I discovered why I dislike the idea of “giving back”. It was the use of the word “BACK“.
The only people who can give BACK
are those who have taken, borrowed, stolen, and since this is a money blog we can also add those who have taken out a loan. Giving BACK indicates that I have something that is not mine and I need to return it, occasionally with a penalty or payment assigned to it:
- If you take something or steal it then some form of punishment or retribution may occur.
- If you take out a loan then you repay it with interest.
- If you borrow a hedge trimmer or ladder then return it to your neighbor with a cold bottle from your own fridge as a thank you.
But when I am asked to “Give BACK” to my parents, community, or to God I take offense to the way it is phrased.
I am under no contract or obligation to my parents to give them anything, the benefits of living in my community are taken care of with property and sales taxes, and the only thing God wants from me is to believe in, and honor, Him.
Rephrase “Giving Back”
Don’t give BACK, just GIVE:
- Give LOVINGLY to the parents who raised you
- Give WILLINGLY the community
- Give HUMBLY to God
There are no contracts, no agreements, no obligations to abide by. Giving is never a return of something owed, it should come from the heart and go TO something with no strings attached
Only then is it considered true giving.
Example: When I give my dog a treat, there is no requirement that he gives me something back.
The joy is in the GIVING and the reward is in GIFT. And to be honest, I don’t want any of the gift back.