Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Takers, Givers and In Betweeners

There are those, human and animal, that seem to have decided the world's an oyster and it belongs to them alone. They have a right to the lion's share of everything.To hell with the rest of the world. These are the takers. i began to profile them when teaching third grade. I found them aggressive, outspoken, line breakers, fist shakers, rule breakers, rule makers and usually able to con anything out of anyone, taking whatever risk necessary to make it work for them. Not a passive aggressive in the bunch. When you found one, they were usually teamed up with others of like mind and run in a pack.

They were given to frequent, "running, barking roll on the ground" when things didn't go their way. It was always someone else' s fault. No one has found  much can be done to cure it...talking, praying, beating, reasoning...they gonna have it all! I found that when teaching, separate the pack. "Don't fight 'em, don't spite 'em, just leave 'em alone, and maybe they'll ride on again". I'm sure some of my third graders were responsible for the financial collapse of 1999.

Next come the "hair shirts". These deprived themselves of everything for the good of the whole. They were given to completely hopeless causes. They insist on distributing what they can beg or borrow to those they feel are the less fortunate amongst us. The Pacific Islanders didn't know they were doing anything wrong until the hair shirts got their attention by telling them clothes were the order of the day. The Hi-waiian Shirt industry sprung up overnight as the opportunist amongst the islanders were able to make a fortune out of not being able to skinny dip any more...a small price for a piece of the action.

These giver people usually have a message...you can take or leave, but once you've been approached, or have done business with the hair shirts, they ain't ever going away. It's hard to tell sometimes whether they are givers or takers.I found them harder to spot when teaching. I did notice they were extremely gullible, fearful, last to be chosen for softball, and would give away all possessions, pencils, lunch money, shirt off their back. All you gotta do is act pitiful, cry, or spill your milk in the lunch room and they come out of the wood work.The real diehards end up as monks or nuns, I suppose.

Finally, the backbone of all society. The in betweener. Them there that swing back and forth on the pendulum of life; giving and taking as the situation demands. We are the sheeps, the flock, the oyster. We are the ones that get scammed every time a cry for natural disaster relief goes out. Most identity theft is dumped on us, Door to door salesmen, boys from Mormon Church, the Salvation Army, Dial America telemarketer, the Police Benevolent Society, and NPR fundraisers will seek you out. DO NOT listen to them, Do Not  look them in the eye or you're dead meat. If you ever give, or give in, your GOTCHA. They will stalk you for your last penny. They had to legislate the Hari Kishna's out of the airports, didn't they.

Monkeys, fish, and birds learned to ignore the whole giver/taker thingy early on. They chose to live in an element that would not lend itself to supporting the giver/taker community. Some, whales and dolphins,  took to the sea as an after thought, having been hit on too many times. Penquins moved to the Poles, and Ablatrosses stay aloft 99% of their lives. They is animals! Opps, we is animal, too! Guess they have their problems at treetop level, too.

Forgive me a moment, I must call my investment banker, and I promised the Edgar Casey Benevolent Society a small donation...times is hard, you know.

I'm back, and I feel SO much better...I've lost enough of my meager earnings and savings I am now homeless, but will never have to pay taxes again... and it only took 30 seconds of my time! Maybe I can go to work for Dial America and live in my car, until the repo man finds it. What a noble idea!

I wonder what really happened to Edgar's notion of  Atlantis? The In Betweeners leave the Giver/Taker culture behind?

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