There are a lot of different motivations that might inspire you to help others, but while reading Give and Take by Adam Grant, I was blown away to discover an unexpected revelation about the benefits of giving.
I recommend checking out the book for yourself, but for now here’s a quick summary:
Grant looks at work interactions, and how people operate as takers, matchers, or givers. After researching the levels of success different people achieved, he discovered a hierarchy:
At the bottom you find givers – basically the “doormats” that others could exploit for their own gain.
Above them were the takers, who were more than happy to take advantage of those chumps to get ahead in this dog-eat-dog world.
At the very top, there’s a twist ending: it’s the givers again. What happened?? How did these suckers ever surpass the takers?
I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but bottom line: there are some surprising benefits to a life of contributing to others without expecting anything in return.
Alex was definitely a giver. Just ask anyone who knew him. “Alex was one of the most selfless human beings I’ve ever met. He consistently put the interests of others above his own.” –Chris Kim, Alex’s friend
I wonder if part of how he unlocked this secret came from his love of sports – another place we get a glimpse of givers in action. No one likes the ball-hog. The truly great players in every sport have a generous way of raising the level of everyone around them.
That’s why we created this foundation – because all his friends and family were made better because of our time around Alex. After he passed, we all had this sense that he had so much more to give.
The Bible says, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Alex understood this, and in a weird way it actually makes me feel closer to him – the more I give, the more it keeps me in touch with the kind, others-focus that he had.
It really is how the game is meant to be played.