I have engaged in the process for about three quarters of a century. When I was a child I mostly took, as my parents gave me what I needed. But I soon learned the art of giving. I served mass as an alter-attendant in my early school days, then served the community as a scout for a number of years. I took some public education money, as I attended the public high school and got my MBA from the University of Connecticut, a public funded college. I attended a private grade school and college, but most take a modicum of government subsidy.
Once I gave big time, as I spent six years enlisted in the military, serving in the United States Air Force. But some gave their lives or a disabling injury, which is a far greater gift. I took some public money, as most of my career was spent working for a defense contractor, which many would call this giving to the effort to defend our country and keep it safe. It depends on how you look at it. I am now on Social Security and Medicare which some consider taking, but is not, as these programs were set up to be self-sustaining by payroll contributions. It's not my fault the politicians robbed the piggy bank.
Over the years I have volunteered in many efforts. I spent week nights and evenings working with orphans (mostly black) in a program to provide substitute parental guidance. But then my real family (three children) needed me more, so I gave to them what my parents gave to me.
Once, as the Employment Manager, I led efforts within my company to implement “affirmative action” hiring and promotion resulting in hundreds of minorities getting a better job and a good income. Some would say that's what America's companies should have been doing all along.
Over the years I have volunteered to work with schools, community and any organization that needed help. But I am not at it day and night. So am I doing enough? Well, like JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” I'm asking.
Will there be an accounting some day where the angel of God asks you, “What did you give and what did you take in your life?” I think everyone has to ask themselves that question.