Borrowers and Lenders

What would you do if every person was a library instead? You can loan traits to others in your life for a set amount of time and vice versa. However, when the time is up, you have to give someone else a chance to give and take. Would your borrowing and lending amounts be equal? If they are, why? Is it because you think it’s only fair that you have to give and receive? Is it because you would feel guilty if all you did was take while giving nothing in return?

We are like libraries. We all give others both our strengths and weaknesses whether we want to or not. Even the most guarded person gives and takes something from those around him/her. Realistically, you probably either give more or take more. Is this the type of person you want to be? Some people are better at lending than they are at borrowing. Others are the opposite. In truth, it doesn’t matter which type of person you are as long as you show that you are grateful and thankful.

People are going to notice whether you give or receive. People are going to form opinions about you based on their personal preferences. However, in the long run, what they will remember is how appreciative you were towards them. If you have difficulty borrowing and you interact with a gracious lender, politely thank them while declining. On the other hand if you have difficulty lending but borrow profusely, politely thank people that are giving themselves to you. Chances are, these people are doing it because it makes them happy. So by thanking them you’re adding to their happiness.

In the above scenarios I’ve outlined them as if these people are your opposite. Opposites attract and like dissolves like don’t have to be competing phrases. If opposites attract, you’re more likely to actually have to force yourself to be the person they need. If like dissolves like being yourself, without added care is probably good enough. However, is good enough actually good enough? Are you okay being the lender that doesn’t appreciate another lender? Are you okay being the borrower that gets jealous someone else is also borrowing? Do you think they are?

Too often we take other’s gifts for granted. Whether we like what other people are sharing with the world or not, we still must remember what they’re sharing is themselves. Even those we label as lazy or crazy are still giving us something, even if that something is reminding us what we don’t want to be. I’m not saying you should walk up to a lazy person and say, “hey, thanks for reminding me I woke up this morning with a purpose” because they probably did too. I am saying you should remind yourself you woke up this morning with a purpose.

Just as we take others for granted we often overlook our own gifts. We often think of ourselves as greater than we are or lesser than we are; neither of which is how others see us most of the time. Our weaknesses need not be diminished; sure they may make us feel down sometimes but we can always improve them. We are not defined by our weaknesses. We are especially not defined by our weaknesses when we take to sharing our strengths. Nor are we bound by weakness when we accept the help of others.

So what’s my point? We, as people, are essentially the same as libraries. Some of us, may be more like banks where we expect interest on our loans. However, most people prefer not to pay interest on things. So, libraries.

We, as people, thrive off the help and gifts of others.

We, as people, are defined not by our weaknesses but by our strengths.

We, as people, need to recognize others for what they do for us before we can recognize what we do for ourselves.


Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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