Giving back; it amazes me how strong the urge to give back becomes with age. I’ve always been a fighter but not a taker; at least not for more than was owed me – that I had earned. But I was not an overtly generous person. Maybe because I tend to be a loner or introverted, or because I didn’t have a sense of having much to offer. But I was just not all that giving.
But as time has crept along and the shadows have lengthened I find it increasingly important to return to…..society I guess? To life perhaps better stated. Almost daily the urge grows more insistent; to be kind, to be helpful, to teach, to comfort, to support……
The odd part of this is the more commonly occurring conflict between being a loner, an introvert – some might say anti-social even (but NO, not that way hahahaha) – and the desire to touch people’s lives in a warm and positive way. The battle is quite something to behold! Not quite as dramatic as heaven and hell, good and evil, or even Rocky and Bullwinkle and Boris and Natasha but a daily war bordering on epic. A constant stream of conflicting emotions; especially at work. I still want to wage war (metaphorically of course!) To puff my chest, flex my muscles, prove my manliness, pea on the conference room walls (janitors hate that) and just make my mark so to speak.
Work is war – never doubt that. It is a daily battle to one up the next person, to be “the guy”, to assert your dominance, to intimidate with either knowledge or experience. To what end? Can’t answer that; it’s just important to do so. It is nothing about belittling the other person or beating them personally; not at all like that. It is about be the better one – not to knock them down but to raise yourself up. The drive to be “the guy” is overwhelming at times.
Yet in the midst of all these battle for dominance is now the need to stop and lend someone a helping hand, to bandage their wounds, to give them support; a kind word or text, a comforting pat on the shoulder…….to help. Happily the urge to fight and intimidate is waning just as the need to give back is waxing. But for now, they coexist and create all sorts of internal conflict in me. Aging is truly a remarkable process; laden with duality. I am a fighter and a lover, 17 and 62, considerate and rude, and thousands of similarities. Another mystery of life!