Makers and Takers

This post was inspired by David Wong’s Article 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

In life there are two types of people in any given situation, there are “makers” and there are “takers”.  Some days you will be a maker, and most days you will be a taker. This is how the world works.

These terms are mostly commonly used in political arguments over welfare and other subsidies, but for the sake of this article these terms have no political affiliation, they are simply what they are.

“Making” doesn’t mean you literally have to build a table from scratch, and “taking” doesn’t require you to stand in line at the soup kitchen for pork and beans. It is much simpler than that. Blogging is making.  Singing is making.  Running a marathon is making. Making can be anything that you do that provides value to the world. Similarly, reading is taking.  Eating is taking. Watching a movie is taking. Taking is anything you consume that provides value to yourself. Both of these actions are vital every human being, but the frequency with which we do these things can define the type of person we are and how we will be perceived by the world.

In economics, there is supply and demand. In banking, there are credits and debits. And in almost every situation, having a surplus is perceived to be a good thing.  We hear this often in relation to finances, for example: “Don’t spend more than you make” or “Live within your means”. But the idea also applies to anything else of value. If you spend your entire life consuming art or content created by other people (blogs, articles, movies, etc.) and never create art or content on your own, you have a deficit.  This imbalance causes you to be not so interesting to other people.  The same goes for those who do nothing but make all the time and spend little time enjoying the creations of others. Surplus is good, but too much  can make you not so interesting.

So as we embark on 2014, keep in mind that you should “make” more than you “take”, but be sure to spend time doing both and you will find happiness.