Give Back

This is a phrase that really bugs me. Let me tell you why.

(I’m quoting Neal Boortz here)
In the case of “giving back” the premise is that those with wealth did not earn it through hard work and good decision making. They were given that wealth. To suggest that someone should “give back” is to imply that whatever they have was given to them. You can’t “give back” something that wasn’t “given” to you in the first place. Charity is to be commended; but when you give away some of what you’ve actually spent a part of your life acquiring you’re “giving,” not “giving back.”

Ok, me again: You probably learned about “connotations” in English class. For example, look, leer and observe all mean basically the same thing, but have different connotations. The phrase “give back” carries with it connotations. One of which is trying to undermine the concept of individual acheivement.

It’s as if by that phrasology you’re required to give to your community simply because you have more than they do. It’s as if you’re doing something wrong by having more than someone else, and therefore you are obliged to spread your ‘wealth’ around. It’s as if by having something to give, you are somehow taking advantage of someone who doesn’t if you don’t share.

I wholeheartedly think it’s good use of my money to help others. I believe in donating goods, services and monitarily. Two of the organizations I especially love are Compassion and Samaritans Purse. I think it’s important to teach my children the importance of generosity and caring for others. I emphatically think, especially as a Christian, I am being obedient by using the material blessings God has given me to bless others. I believe 100% in tithing.

Because in the end, the only One you can “give back” to, is Him.

12 thoughts on “Give Back

  1. Oh, what a good post Jessica! You go girl! Thanks for sharring this.

    BTW – you won the name game for my picture. I’ll be e-mailing you with some questions so I can highlight your blog on my blog!

  2. I agree with you. The whole “spread the wealth” idea bothers me, and I have no money. I just don’t think that is the right way to go about things. It is not fair to the people that do have money. It seems to take away their choice of what they do with their money.

  3. Jessica,
    I think the term “give back” does not necessarily have to mean giving monetarily. When I think of “give back” it makes me think of giving to others to help spread the blessings that I have. People view wealth in different ways and regardless of my station in life I want others have the same opportunities that I have had – education/ job/ family/ warmth/ love/ kindness (not necessarily in that order). One of my favorite sayings is (and I am paraphrasing): “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

  4. I guess I see it a little differently, although your perspective is interesting. Even though we do well & work hard, it is all a gift from HIM. Because of that we should all "give back".

    Hope all is well at your house 🙂

  5. The wording irritating you is hilarious. Certain phrases bother me too.

    I agree with you on blessing others! And we aren’t even really GIVING to God…it is all His to begin with!

  6. I read this book after seeing it in your blog and I agree with you. It was something I’d never really thought of before, the same with the phrase “less fortunate”. It’s amazing how connotations can shape an argument.

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