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Passions in Poetry

Give and Take

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jbouder
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since 09-18-99
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Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


50 posted 12-07-2007 08:44 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Stephen:

I think the feelings of satisfaction are more-or-less inevitable, even for gifts given out of love.  A gift may very well involve self-sacrifice and, to a detached onlooker, might appear irrational.  Motivation is another factor.  Gifts given with a self-satisfying motive usually involve the giver drawing attention to their act of giving.  A gift given to better the life of another without the giver drawing attention to the act still results in the giver's satisfaction.

I'm not sure why, but some seem to think feeling good about giving is somehow less noble than indifference or even regret, as if this somehow pollutes the end.  I don't think it does.

Jim
Stephanos
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51 posted 12-10-2007 05:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I'm not sure why, but some seem to think feeling good about giving is somehow less noble than indifference or even regret, as if this somehow pollutes the end.  I don't think it does.


Neither do I.  Then again, I don't think that feeling good (something about oneself) is the only motivation for right action.  If that were true, then I would wonder why the doer should feel good at all.  

Far from thinking that "feeling good" pollutes the end of action, some think that it defines the whole.

I think we're arguing two different ideas.  If you say that the presence of self-satisfaction does not tarnish a good action, I am in complete agreement.


Just trying to clarify.


Stephen
rwood
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52 posted 12-11-2007 06:37 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I think everyone wants to be appreciated in any kind of a relationship. I'm sure there are some that give give give to masterful takers who know exactly how to get what they want out of the giver. Sometimes one gets a thank you, or the best of all...a hug, but sometimes one gets nothing but a list of more things needed or wanted.

well, that describes just about every parent/child situation in the world.  

and...I don't think I know anyone who's involved in a couple type relationship where there isn't some tiny amount of scheming going on to get something they want out of the other person. Romance?? Football night with the boys?? Another puppy? Another pair of pretty shoes? A collectible? The seat down on the toilet?

reciprocation can be very interesting.

so I won't lie and say I always give without ever having any hope of receiving anything. First and foremost, I give thanks. Because time is short, and I don't want to lose the chance to let people know how much I appreciate who they are or what they've done for me. Maybe it's for self-approval? Personal enrichment? Or just because.
Balladeer
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53 posted 12-11-2007 10:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Jim, is this "self-satisfaction" to be thought of as a goal or motive, or as a kind of corresponding result of seeking something else?

Stephanos, please save me from the man who does not have self-satisfaction as a motive. True, there may be many motives for one's actions but, if that is not one, the others make little sense. Even somewhere in the Bible, if I remember right, it refers to going out and doing goods deed secretly as a pathway to heaven.

The opposite of doing things and receiving self-satisfaction is either doing deeds with no feelings at all or doing things you personally hate.

and I know, if I'll only be true
to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
as I'm laid to my rest


Even Don Quixote knew it....and it's NOT an impossible dream We all seek that peacefulness, calmness and feeling of self-satisfaction at the end of the road.
TomMark
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54 posted 12-11-2007 11:05 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

"We all seek that peacefulness, calmness and feeling of self-satisfaction at the end of the road."

not at the end of the road but along the road of life.   


  

Stephanos
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55 posted 12-11-2007 12:20 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Balladeer:
quote:
Stephanos, please save me from the man who does not have self-satisfaction as a motive. True, there may be many motives for one's actions but, if that is not one, the others make little sense. Even somewhere in the Bible, if I remember right, it refers to going out and doing goods deed secretly as a pathway to heaven.


While I would point out that Jesus taught doing good deeds as a way to "lay up treasure in heaven", rather than a way to get there (an important distinction), I'm in agreement with you otherwise.

You're saying that the strand of self consideration is always more or less present, somewhere.  I'm only knocking the philosophy which insists that the other strands are really only the same thing in facade.  You might call it mutualism as an alternative to egoism.  

This leaves room for the traditional understanding of "selfishness", and the moral framework, to remain intact ... not to go about nailing others with the slur, but to turn it upon ourselves, checking, as in a mirror, whether or not it is gaining ground.


Wow, Mike, I'm in amazement at the concord here.  I'm liking the "ballad" you're singing.  Usually its dueling banjos between the two of us.     


Stephen  
Essorant
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56 posted 12-11-2007 02:05 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What if a man saved your life because he cared more about feeling good about it than he actually cared about your life!  

Could you accept him as a hero for saving your life, even though he cared more about feeling good about it?


TomMark
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57 posted 12-11-2007 05:16 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

"saved your life" and "he cared more about feeling good" are conflict characters. Can they co-exit at the same time point?

If my life needs to be saved than it means that my life in in danger. The situation which makes my life dangerous will make his life in dangerous as well so He would not feel good about the situation.

my thought
Stephanos
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58 posted 12-12-2007 01:06 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
What if a man saved your life because he cared more about feeling good about it than he actually cared about your life!  

Could you accept him as a hero for saving your life, even though he cared more about feeling good about it?


One thing about selfishness, Essorant, is that it might make a show of giving and common respectability here and there, but not real heroism.  The risk calculated would generally be too high.  


Though 1 Corinthians does pose it as a possibility ... stating that if a man could give his body to the flames, without love, it would amount to nothing.  I think Paul was being hypothetical however, refuting lovelessness with its best foot forward.  Successfully arguing against the best case for a counter-argument, tends to end the argument.


Does a man who accidentally drops 50 dollars on the sidewalk on the poor side of town, amount to a philanthropist?  Is he giving alms?  


An extreme pragmatism might say it doesn't matter.  Human psychology and behavior says it does.    


Stephen
Balladeer
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59 posted 12-12-2007 02:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Essorant, that's an interesting question, reminding me of somethat that happened in my life. Years ago, I was the factory manager of the largest t-shirt manufacturer in the world. I had eight department heads under me. One was a production manager, an old Cuban fellow, who was one of the nicest people I had ever known, a man who really cared about his employees. To make a long story short, upper management decided to let him go, without even consulting with me first. When I came to work that day, he was gone. I walked into the president's office and resigned. That night Joe (the fired manager) called me. He was in tears. He told me that no one had ever done anything like that for him in his entire life and I had a friend in him for life. I then explained to him that I hadn't done it for him. My job was basically being a buffer between upper management and lower management. I basically protected them from the big guys and they in turn produced for me. The fact that they did an end-run around me and fired one of my people meant I didn't do my job and that's why I left. Bottom line is that it made a difference to him. I could feel the difference. He was still appreciative but the fact that my actions were not motivated by personally taking up for him changed things. So, yes,we do appreciate  another's  actions which benefit us, but most would prefer that it be personal, something to make one feel special. sorry for the ramble but you struck an old memory chord.

Stephanos, even dueling banjos can create good music at times
TomMark
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60 posted 12-12-2007 03:45 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

My dear Sir Balladeer, if you had resigned on you won, since you were not happy any way, you might have felt lonely because the world was such a unfair place. But to take good chance, you not only had felt yourself a hero  but cheated out a good friendship too.

You gave nothing but took in a pure friendship.
(quite self-interested)  

You always tell the truth.
TomMark
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61 posted 12-29-2007 05:38 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

I do not sent out present often and
do not do it without significant reason
I sent out one this year to honor
one friend's aging
In this special season
But She forgot all of this
She is probably too old to remember who is who
so I have to pretend that I did not give.

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-29-2007 10:41 PM).]

 
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