Jesus summoned them and said,
“Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
~ Matthew 20:26-28
In the fight for survival, one can easily be led to think that life is for the taking. But in the quest for life and its meaning, the essence of life is in the giving.
We gather food to give us sustenance. We reap from plants for our clothes and shelter. And in many instances, we take from others what we think we need to survive, even to the point of sometimes taking their lives or the livelihood.
But life is about the giving. Watch the trees give their fruits so that we can eat, the timber so we can build our houses, or their fibers so we can weave our clothes. The sun is not simply out there. it is there to give us light, warmth and energy. Without the sun giving, there would be nothing living on earth.
On the human, physical and sensual level, life starts with a release and a giving. The tumescence of my father is released and he gives out his seeds. In fact, life’s pressures and stresses are released by the giving out of the pent up energies and tensions inside us. The life thus started is then nurtured by the greatest giving in human experience, that of a mother’s love and selfless giving.
We will be most remembered for what we have given in our life, not for what we have taken.