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In Giving We Receive

The beauty of giving of oneself and one’s resources to those in need has been on full display during this time of a world health crisis. So many have found themselves without, having lost the comfort of knowing they can take care of their family’s basic needs and so many others have stepped up to help. Do we think that these givers are motivated by recognition for their generosity or simply to satisfy their own need to feel useful?

There is so much at play here. I doubt that those giving are motivated by anything more than love and concern for their fellow man. But that really does not preclude a need to be needed and there is nothing wrong with that, per se. Many people cherish the notion of being needed and work diligently to fulfill that need. If both giver and receiver are benefitted, I see that as a win/win.

Wanting and even needing to be needed is not the same as acting in order to receive recognition. The sense of satisfaction is intrinsic; recognition is usually an extrinsic motivator. Extrinsic motivation is giving to get something, not giving to help another or even oneself feel useful and achieving a sense of well being from the giving.

About the author, Saleh

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