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Laura's Corner

I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.

Give(rs) and take(rs)


Once upon a time, a little girl was informed that relationships are give and take.  She was also told that there was a prince, white horse and castle on the horizon.  Just like all other "once upon a times", this relationship was just a fairy tale, which rarely, if ever, come true.
Givers are few and far between.  We are instructed that it is better to give than receive, yet the writer of that fable was, and probably will always be, an imaginary enemy.  
It feels wonderful to help others IN NEED.  Yet, when it comes to helping others NOT in need, it eventually causes us to become disgruntled and feeling used.
Givers are genuine, kind and compassionate.  Some have the financial means to assist others in their time of need.  Others give their time and talents to ensure others are gaining in the wealth of independence.  Whatever the cause, a giver will always do what it takes to ensure the well being of others.
Takers are very similar to givers.  They receive joy out of taking, not just little, but much.    It is second hand nature to put their hand out for little or nothing.  They have absolutely no qualms about doing so; it is just the way it is.
Taking is a learned behavior.  It is instilled by individuals who are raising a society of self-indulgent children.  When parents fail to say no, set boundaries and limit gifts, there will eventually be hell to pay.
Ever notice a 2 year old throwing a fit in a store?  What is the reaction of some parents?  I would say that 50% will stop the tantrum with discipline and the other half will attempt to bribe the child with a toy, candy bar or item of their choice to prevent the behavior from continuing.  This child is groomed at a very young age that there is a payoff for every outburst and scream.  These children become takers and will do whatever it takes to torture their parents into a “yes”.  
With that said, how would one know if he or she is a genuine giver or a genuine taker?  
Givers receive joy from assisting others.  They volunteer, listen and give of themselves regarding financial, mental or emotional.  They are do-gooders and feel completely comfortable doing so.  Givers have pride, the kind of pride that avoids them falling into the “woe is me” trap.  They feel uncomfortable asking for favors, assistance or freebies.  Most would rather fix it themselves or pay a contractor rather than pick up the phone to ask a friend or family member for help.  If and when they do ask for a favor, they are a-ok with hearing the word “no” because they understand that other’s lives are just as busy.  
Takers are similar yet opposite as well.  They are pleasant, kind and wonderful.  They befriend as many as individuals as possible “just in case”.  They listen, embrace and do whatever it takes to get in your good graces.  Once in, it’s an open door policy to your time, talents and money.  
Takers, on the other hand, will not take no for an answer.  They don’t understand when you don’t have time, energy or money.  The concept of you having a job, school, family or surgery is insufficient compared to the fact they need a ride, loan or bail-out.    They will jump from family member to friend knowing they will eventually receive a final answer of “yes”.  They will beg, plead and use grandchildren against their own parents.  They will pit mother against daughter, father against son and spread rumors like wildfire. 
If you are a giver, and want to figure out how to spot a taker, learn how to say the word NO (with authority).  If the response of the taker is, “Why not, just one more time, come on, you’ve said yes before”, you know that you’ve hit the jackpot.  The minute a giver says no to a taker or sets a boundary, chances are the taker will eventually move onto their next victim and forgo your relationship altogether.
Relationships should never include more than honesty, listening, embracing, time and love.  Each person should be completely independent from one another regarding finances, housing, vehicle use and cell phones.  There should never be an imbalance of one doing for another.  As an example, if your friend needs a ride, feel free to give her one.  If you call her up for one in the future and she says no, not just once, but over a period of time, you have scored yet another taker.   Take heed, learn from it and proceed with caution.
That said, pay attention to your friends and family members.  Surround yourself with others who are givers and you will never be alone.  They will prove themselves to be at your side in your time of need.  And that, my friend, is the greatest gift of all. 

Balloon Theory...

Within my circle of friends, many are at the age of retirement.  I have been to a few parties as a way of saying, “Thanks for being there for me, hope I was there for you”.

Upon entering an office recently, I found a “Congrats” balloon in the corner.  It had been in the party room of a recent retiree and had been overlooked.  Someone asked if I wanted it, and I said, “Sure, I’ll put it up by my desk”.  Little did I know the impact one balloon would make.

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Gift-more Holidays

What would your children do if there were no gifts under the tree this year?  Who would feel worse, you or them?  Would anyone cry, rebel or retreat to their rooms to sleep off the depression and shock?  Would there be a protest of sorts, children holding signs, marching in a circle, “Santa does not live here”?   How guilty would you feel if you could not afford a single present this year?

With the holidays fast approaching, Black Friday right around the corner, what’s a parent to do?  The same thing as the year prior or grow some and set a limit regarding gifts?  

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