A Love That Keeps on Giving

A big fat heart is the world’s saviour to all things unsightly. Cursed with a head full of frizzy hair, thunder thighs and bad complexion? It’s okay, your giving heart will be your saving grace, they coo. What they don’t tell you though, is that this giving heart of yours will also be your greatest demise — your kyptonic downfall.

It’s splendid to live in a world that doesn’t stop giving. Open your arms and things fall into your embrace, whenever you want them to, wherever you want them to. But to be on the other side? The one that gives unknowingly, without a choice?

We’re hardwired to do things for the people we love. We want to do it, we do it willingly. That doesn’t mean it comes without expectations or the hope of being reciprocated. But truth is, even when disappointment sets in and we tell ourselves over and over again that putting someone first in exchange for something less isn’t really the definition of fair trade, we do it anyway. It’s as if we’ve been bred in the bone to never stop giving, that when God decided to split the world up into givers and receivers, we were never given a choice. Funny thing is, even if we were given a voice, we probably would have used it to give our consent anyway.

I think we’ve waited too long and put in too much. I think we’ve searched too far and looked too wide for a love that’s just and fair. The conclusion? We should all learn to put ourselves first. Selfishness should be a term used to describe someone that’s lost so much faith in humanity that they’ve decided to channel all their energy into making themselves feel better instead. Sure, there’ll always be the exceptions. The one person who gives willingly, completely and one day gets back everything ten fold. But I’m not taking my chances. The world can do without my generosity, and it will very much go on without my altruism.

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