Getting What We Want


In the late 1960s, the Rolling Stones told us: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

I’m not sure everyone always gets what is needed. I am convinced, however, that we never get more than we give.

If we want honesty, we must give honesty.
If we want to be respected, we must give respect to others.
If we want love, we must give love.
If we want to live in a welcoming community, we must be willing to welcome and engage with everyone who walks in the door.

It’s the simplest concept, and yet the hardest to live, because it requires us to take the first step, to risk offering honesty, respect, love, and acceptance, when we know that, in return, we might receive only dishonesty, disrespect, hatred or apathy, and indifference or rejection.

And receiving those negative responses, after taking the risk of giving of ourselves . . . I won’t lie . . . it can really hurt. It’s discouraging. Depending on the circumstances, it can actually be devastating.

But, what is our alternative?
Risking nothing??
That just guarantees we will receive nothing in return, and . . . that’s not really ‘living’, is it???

We can call it “karma,” or “choosing life so that you may live,” or “reaping what you sow” . . . the name doesn’t matter because the concept is the same:

Whatever it is that we most want in our lives, we must take the risk of offering that very thing to others . . . so that we might have a chance of receiving it in return.

May each of us find the strength to more frequently risk giving of ourselves, so that we might more frequently get what we want from life.

2 thoughts on “Getting What We Want

  1. I hate to be the angel of gloom. What you’re describing is called projection. Unfortunately, it’s much more about ourselves than giving to someone else. But, I sure think the benefits of self-risk are highly effective ways in confronting anxiety. I’m still wired psychodynamically!

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