I think I’ve always been one to give. I live by the philosophy that if I’m asked to do it, and I can do it, then I should do it. The moments when I choose not to do the thing I’ve been asked to do are the moments I realize I’m a selfish person. This mode of thinking is something built into my system, and can probably only be attributed to Jewish guilt.
One thing I have had a very hard time with in the last few years has been trying to understand why others don’t feel the same way I do. Though I don’t consciously say to myself every time I support a friend’s cause, “I am doing her a favor, so she owes me one,” it seems that I end up thinking that nagging thought just about every time. On a regular basis I’ll find myself thinking “wow, that person is so selfish to not donate. I donated, after all.” And then I proceed to feel guilty over just how self-righteous I can be.
There’s one voice inside my head saying, maybe you don’t need to give anymore, and then you won’t be annoyed with others who don’t give. But then the rational side of me (hopefully the winning side) just says that I need to get over it.
I need to find a way to give without expecting anything in return, without expecting good karma to spread another inch around me every time I give an elderly person my seat on the bus.