“Money can’t buy love, but it improves your bargaining position.”
~ Christopher Marlowe
We have most likely heard this saying in that it is better to give than to receive. Regardless of its origins, it presupposes that the act of giving is held better in regard than the act of receiving, most highly regarded by those of religious virtues and values.
However, an article or excerpt from a book once read prior once exclaimed that the actual saying is said as it is better to be in a position to give than in a position to receive.
This axiom tells us that being in an advantageous position is much more worthy than being in a disadvantageous position. Indeed, we are then ascribing ourselves to another maxim which is it is better to err on the side of caution.
Let’s think about the incomplete version. If it is so good to give, then why don’t we all give others everything we have in our due possession? Why do we then hold valuables, materials and holdings rather than giving it away?
Simply because we are unconsciously following the complete axiom. No matter what we call ourselves, we will always be beings with the sense of self-preservation and self-interest. It is encoded in our nature to protect well-being first and foremost before all others. To put ourselves in a precarious position is plain insane by any form of standard, whether it is instinctively or rationally (unless there is something to gain, even then a calculated risk). In such an advantageous position, we are in control and able to dictate our terms to our most favourable outcome. Besides, we then have the means to negotiate an even better position compared to anyone else.
Regardless of it all, we would always remember we should always be in a position to give, but that never means that we should neither give or not give. Besides, that also means that being in a position to give is no obligation for us to give to others unless we deem it prudent or our consciousness dictates so.
“Animals have genes for altruism, and those genes have been selected in the evolution of many creatures because of the advantage they confer for the continuing survival of the species.”
~ Lewis Thomas
Much of our behaviours today originate from our ancestors. In that, we are in-tuned with our instinctive nature to be in an advantageous position to maximize our chances of survival and in-turn the opportunity to reproduce. While this may sound cynical, it is what it is and by no means it is limited to this view. Societies have a propensity to help each other through sheer acts of altruism in which yes, it is better to give than to receive in that the act of altruism is for the greater good for our society.
With that said, humanity still has the will to freedom to do as it chooses. To do so, we must always be aware of our nature to then understand it and finally mater ourselves and others, for the greater good.
- Is it Better to Receive Than to Give? – http://time.com/4353514/receiving/
- Why It Is Better to Receive Than Give – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kara-postkennedy/why-it-is-better-to-recei_b_8368740.html