Takers and The Invisible Man


Posted on June 26, 2009 by Blake Leath

As is often the case, I notice things when they happen in 'threes.'  Sometimes, perhaps rarely, I'm quick enough on the uptake to notice things in isolation, but more infrequently than I care to admit, even to myself.

This past week, I spoke with and coached a few folks who were frustrated with what we might call 'taking behaviors.'  Specifically, people with whom they were frustrated because the relationships were lopsided: my 'coachees' were GIVING and the 'wrongdoers' were TAKING.  You know the drill; we've all been perpetrators and victims in the same circuit.

Such is the human condition; always has been -- always will be.  Don't mean to be a fatalist, just a realist.

That said, I've always most admired The Invisible Man.  Not the cheesy-movie one, but the real man (or woman).  You know, the unassuming type, like Clark Kent, whom we later learn is really super.  Or the quiet one in the back row, whom we later learn is illuminatingly bright.  Or the awkward and seemingly powerless one, whom we later learn is a mogul's son and thrice-over gazillionaire eyeball-deep in curing cancer. 

I share these thoughts, not because anyone need be super, smart, or rich in order to be worthwhile (quite the contrary, I postulate), but because there is something to be said for not placing oneself onto every stage.

But moreover, I believe, because the legacy of Takers -- whether others' time, attention, credit, or sundry finite resources -- is one of emptiness.  I have been to many a funeral, and the Taker's is the least attended.

Better to be humble in life, listening to and encouraging others and supporting them behind the scenes, than to gluttonously devour the entire banquet table for oneself.

Give me the Givers, please, though we should all give regardless.