February 2004
Giving And Taking: More Than A Personal Scale

GIVING and TAKING of a person, a firm, a state or even humankind should be in balance or things go wrong... that is the basic idea of the following rumination.

What is such a big deal about (G) GIVING and (T) TAKING? The big deal is that in many cases G and T are not in balance and and we tend to forget what serious and negative consequences it inevitably leads to.

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If I breathe in (T) and do not breathe out (G) I will stop breathing at all and start suffocating... that happens during an asthma attack... and it is not OK.

If I eat a lot (T) and do not utilize (G) the calories the food contains, my body begins to store them in a form of fat tissue and more and more fat tissue growing on my body will cause extra stress for it and eventually lead to developing certain diseases that will inflict premature death on me... unless I intend to commit suicide this is not OK.

I am afraid a lot of G and T misbalance is connected with differences in power or actually seems to be synonymous with differences in power (or dominance/submission). In marital consulting I often saw the person having more power to TAKE more and GIVE less... without being aware of it and taking such unfair distribution for granted and, of course, not having a clue this is where the marital problems stem from.

In about as many cases (and this in not "blaming the victim") I registered the person with less power to be unable to change one's program of far more GIVING and much less TAKING - in order to to win back respect and love of the drifting away or abusive partner... both of course thoroughly dysfunctional patterns leading to a final split specifically in modern "western" culture where marriages tend to be based more and more on equality, mutual understanding, respect and love.

What repeatedly strikes me in working with a couple is how creating balance in G and T and so balance in power or dominance/submission, even if it is only for a short time of a session, leads - immediately - to a startling change: people begin to respect and love each other and the difference is nearly palpable in verbal communication, body language, facial expression - right there in my office.

It seems pretty obvious the patterns of G and T are programmed into one's psyche early in the childhood. That's also the reason why they are typically unconscious and why it is very difficult to alter them so the change would really last.

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As a psychic I mostly work with people on distance and can diagnose and estimate the gravity of these patterns telepathically... which seems even more accurate than face to face as I am not mislead by subtle strategies of both parties often unconscious and meant to cover the, sometimes embarrassing , reality of crude power differences.

Sometimes offering an explanation of basic principles and systematic feedback on these issues helps and people are able to create a healthy relationship by themselves. In other cases there has to be a series of personal meetings where the dysfunctional patterns are identified, clearly demonstrated and reprogrammed right there in action during sessions with a couple.

Anyway it seems no relationship really works in a long term unless there is pretty much a balance of G and T. Needless to say the fact itself that people stay together in a relationship often doesn't say much about real functionality of a relationship.

By the way, let me underline the immense importance of the functionality of an intimate partnership and family background generally for businesspeople as a source of emotional nourishment and balance at their stressful work.

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Allow me to proceed from couples and their G and T to G and T in business:

I recall once being explained the idea of "Live and let live" in business by an older Austrian entrepreneur while traveling through mild and pleasant hills of the wine-land of Southern Moravia and Northern Austria: truly nostalgic memory. For him the idea of "live and let live" was a basic rule and he obviously relied on it in order to keep his inner peace and clean conscience. I think it had a lot to do with G and T.

I noticed about 50% of people who work for small firms or own one themselves still stick to 50 : 50% balance of G and T in business. And I noticed about 90% of corporate managers seem to be at G and T ratio of 0 : 100% - completely out of proportion - and... about 80% of them generalizing this pattern to their relationships towards own families... without being aware of it.

I noticed also a gradual shift of general G and T pattern in the same "greedy" direction in younger managers who started to work for big corporations recently - take bigger salaries and working long hours - and conform to the ruling norms of rather cynical indifference to broader than corporate interests.

"Power corrupts"... as well as workaholism and they both tend to reduce sensitivity to the needs of others, so the needs of the more powerful person, institution, firm, state become prioritized to the needs of all others... and this distortion even feels right and justified.

Obviously religions functioned as counterweight in the history, trying to reduce acting out greed or pure TAKING. For example, once upon a time... taking interest for a loan was seen as wrong and shameful thing to do in Christianity and it still is seen so in Islam, as I read, which might explain the generally lower economic efficiency of states with strongly prevailing Moslem religion. But what have religions to do with business?

It is interesting to me that one of the oldest international corporations oriented prevalently to GIVING, to charity (G : T = 90 : 10% - in a long term, as I am estimating intuitively), namely Catholic Church, has been doing economically pretty well for quite a long time already... and so it seems corporations do not have to be so terribly greedy and tightfisted as they mostly are in order to make quite a lot of money. They would, I guess, have to be smarter even wise, have vision perhaps and be definitely oriented to a long term perspective to make profit otherwise than they mostly do now. (I apologize for an inappropriately light tone of this paragraph to both those who belong tho the Catholic Church and have done wonderful work with it and those who were badly treated, abused even murdered by it... now and in history.)

Another exception (and light touch of the area of politics): George Soros a man who obviously can make a lot of money and who surely can't be suspected for being a wimp financier may serve as a good example of acting on G : T = 50 : 50% principle and thoroughly enjoying it, as far as I can guess - and this estimate would apply to let's say the last 10 years.

I like the idea there could be people who would be able to counterbalance some of the weakness of democracy, who - with their personal wealth - could follow and materialize visions on a longer than an election term. And could compete with a president that uses state money but can't afford to accomplish much that would last longer than his short period in power... during which he also has to pay back to the subjects that contributed to his election campaign.

But I don't want to feed my wishful thinking too much: For comparison let's make an estimate on Bill Gates G : T = 10 : 90%, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin empire G : T = 0 : 100%... and as far as I can tell 95% or the richest individuals of the world falling into the category of incredible disproportionate G and T.

I am glad there is George Soros as an example of both a tough businessman and
G : T = 50 : 50% as I would hate to be seen as an blind opponent of successful businesspeople (and I would love to hear about more of those who any reader suspects can have G : T = 50 : 50%... would you kindly let me know?).

The problem seems to be people, institutions, states with a fair balance of G and T (= about 50 : 50%) are in clear minority (5%?) among those in power in the world and the unscrupulous and badly shortsighted sharks seem to prevail.

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There is a limit, though, of how far the imbalance of G and T can go... and it is the planet Earth' s limit in raw materials, energy resources, drinkable water, breathable air, food, place...

I intuitively find the planet Earth very generous G : T = 100 : 0% but its GIVING seems to be already slower than humankind's TAKING and with the speed of imbalance growing it seems to me humankind will start to have real troubles in about 50 years from now... unless of course something is done which I hope it might be still possible.

What I am getting about humankind in relationship to the planet Earth: Humankind has (not a very impressive) G : T = 1 : 99%... and what is needed from humankind toward the Earth for sustainable development seems to be G : T = 50 : 50% (whatever it means concretely) - like in any relationship that is healthy and is supposed to last.

Again the USA, the world' s biggest power with best technologies and education and biggest capital seem to be incredibly blind or unaware with G : T = 1 : 99 ( in my estimate)... the implied idea probably being "till there is something to TAKE, let's be sure to TAKE it for ourselves and not leave it to the others"... which I as a psychic prognosticator find unnecessarily pessimistic, passive and defeatist in case of a superpower and of course deeply irresponsible of the powerful upper crust. Unfortunately these thoughts don't even seem to reach conscious level of mind of people in power...

I really haven't heard about any long term plan or vision reflecting this, expressed by the president or the government of the USA (besides perhaps flying to the Moon and Mars)... which is rather shocking as own children or grandchildren of those now in power are already in danger. The shortsightedness is rather hard to believe... unless we realize how much the USA functioning seems to be based on pathology: fear + anxiety and acting them out / compensating them.

Of course the poor countries of the third world are like the less powerful partner in a marriage: their needs are overlooked to big degree and they are on average forced to G : T = 90 : 10%.

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Following are some of my intuitive appraisals of various subjects' G : T:

My intuitive take on some countries in G : T:

China 90 : 10
Russia 80 : 20
India 90 : 10
Germany 50 : 50
Norway 44: 56
EU in general 50: 50
new EU states 20 : 80
Japan 0 : 100

How (= in what direction) I perceive some institutions etc. influence G : T ratio in the world:
International Monetary Fund 0 : 100
World Bank 1 : 99
NATO 0 : 100
UN 100 : 1
US film production, values is expresses 60: 40
average advertising 0: 100

My take on politicians' average personal G : T:
Churchill 50 : 50
Roosevelt 50 : 50
Stalin 0 : 100
Hitler 10 : 90
Mussolini 10 : 90

Blair 30 : 70
Bush 10 : 90
Putin 0 : 100
Schroeder 20 : 80
Berlusconi 0 : 100
Chirac 1 : 99

My take on US democratic presidential candidates' average G : T:
John Kerry 50 : 50
Howard Dean 20 : 80
Wesley K. Clark 30 : 70
John Edwards 20 : 80
Joseph I. Lieberman 1 : 99

...seems like USA has some chance!!! Unfortunately, the G and T scale is not the only one describing personality.

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I would say I am (not the only one who is) portraying rather a bleak future... which might be the reason why people in general actually hesitate to look reasonably far ahead. Sorry for that.

And a logical question would be: what can one do in order to prevent a global catastrophe?

I think (besides hiding one's had into sand or planning to move to Luna or Mars) a lot can be done in "thinking globally, acting locally"... for example, as I have attempted to demonstrate, everybody can try to live on psychologically (in both private and business sectors) and politically healthy ratio of GIVING : TAKING = 50 : 50%... and ...just for the heck of it... perhaps you can start (and be shocked) by finding out how big your "ecological footprint" is (on http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp) and estimating how much GIVING you are supposed to do in order to get to GT5050.

I will be glad to give psychic reading on this theme for you personally or for whoever you would like to oblige by bestowing such problematic gift on.

Cambridge, MA, USA, February 2004

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Text by Jan Jilek, http://www.auguring.com/worknotes
Copyright © Jan Jilek, contact jilek@auguring.com