The love we give away is the only love we keep.

~ Elbert Hubbard ~

People on the Take

July 24th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 12 secs

“Have I got a deal for you?!”

Sigh! People on the take are so wearisome, aren’t they? You can expect everything they say to be calculated to achieve a result, twist an arm, or try to turn a profit. It’s a corruption of relationship that has insidious effects.

When people are on the take its effect on them is intoxicating. They don’t see that what they’re doing is antisocial. For them, it seems exciting and even fulfilling. Such are the effects of a life hell bent on getting. Like gold prospectors, people on the take see each fresh person as a new goldmine; an opportunity for extracting what they want.

To some extent, I suppose we all do that in relationships. We want to be treated well and look for help when we need it. But the comparison falls down when you consider people on the take have a ruthlessness about them. They aren’t interested in you as a person. You are merely an object to them; a way to make money and score big time. It’s like there’s a price on your head and for this bounty people on the take would readily sell their soul.

So who are these individuals? Is there a typical profile of people on the take that you can use to vet them with? I tend to believe that there isn’t. People of all persuasions can be motivated by greed and an insatiable desire to get without giving and treat others as marks to achieve their goal. Instead, you see them by the way they approach you, expecting with equivalent zeal and irrational obsession that you want what they’ve got.

You don’t need to go far to find people on the take either. They are rabid on the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook, to the point where they do a great deal of harm. By undermining real conversations, personal interactions gets bogged down by their calculated agendas. For many, it’s wearying in the extreme.

You could get angry over these people and regard them as somehow inferior or flawed. But, really, people on the take are just like you and I, save for the distortion of their agendas. Having lost perspective of compassion, honesty, and kindness, they’re adrift, oblivious to the damage they are doing. Without knowing, they feed their own loneliness by pushing genuine people away.

If you know someone like this that you care about, then I have a few suggestions. Because people on the take have become hardened they won’t see ordinary attempts to reach out. You have to go further by being accepting, yet also straight talking. Tell them that you feel objectified when they do these things. But then affirm them that, in spite of it all, you care about them. We human beings have an amazing capacity to self-justify. So don’t expect contrition. More likely, people on the take will feel you are the one with the problem! But persist with kindness and honesty. Eventually, when they reach a future a future crossroad they’ll reflect on who genuinely cares about them. If it’s you, then you can expect an exciting breakthrough or two. That’s what steadfast love can do.


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