Welcome back, gamers. This week is when it gets fun, in our opinion, because we finally dive in to what it all means in real life. Thanks for being patient over these past two weeks. We think you’ll find it well worth it.
You’ve got a card revealing your primary orientation: a giver, or a receiver. The dice tell you how strong this power is for you, and, relatively, how weak you experience the inverse.
If you are primarily a giver, you initiate. You volunteer, suggest, troubleshoot, seek, fix and rescue. You send out signals at regular, steady intervals. You maintain high activity – and high control. You are the driver.
If you are primarily a receiver, you anticipate. You observe, listen, watch, ponder, provide and assess. You pause before acting or let the activity come to you. People seek you out. In broadcast terminology, you are a master signal detector. You are super-attuned, intuitive and available. You aren’t the driver, but you are no passenger, either: you are the one who maintains the car for when it’s needed.
A binary system like this usually forms a dichotomy, in that you are one or the other. Yet, common sense knows there are times when even the strongest receivers initiate and give. There are times when the most ambitious givers hang back and wait, rather than initiate. This is why we are using values starting at two, rather than zero. No person is completely incapable of giving or receiving – even in an imaginary role play.
We assigned weakness values to the inverse of your strength to help define your character. A weak giver likely appears aloof, thoughtless, clueless, self-centered, stingy, reluctant and obtuse. On the other hand, weak receivers don’t get your signals, so they, too, are misconstrued as clueless, aloof, reluctant and obtuse – along with distant, unwelcoming, constantly busy, poor listeners and never available when you need them.
But wait: this is not as simple as being a zero sum game with yourself. “Weak receiver” is not always interchangeable with “strong giver” and should not be taken as a criticism. Furthermore, can there be givers who give too much, come on too strong, offer unsolicited advice, and routinely fail to observe? Or, people who receive too much, who wait too long and fall out of touch, who spend so much time reading your mind that they miss what you are actually saying, who watch you like a hawk and make you self-conscious, who pick out every minute detail to the point of distraction?
Absolutely. There’s no clear cut good or bad here.
So, what’s it all about? Balance?
Not quite. Balance implies an even distribution of weight. It suggests finding a happy medium, an average, an equal amount of investment into opposite sides. Balance between giving and receiving would be achieved by giving as many times as you receive, or receiving as many times as you give… or, lessening the number of “gives” until you reach equilibrium with your “receives” … or, upping whichever quantity is lower until it equals the strength in the other.
Life just doesn’t work that way. We cannot keep score for ourselves or the people around us without becoming calculating or obligatory – two things that contradict sincerity. No amount of receiving will offset someone who gives to such an extent that they overpower their recipients. No amount of giving will look or feel sincere if a super-receiver suddenly goes on a giving marathon and gets it all out of the way, to offset the reputation they have of never volunteering.
The problem comes when we look at giving and receiving as transactional – especially when these things are not independent or mutually exclusive.
Sincere giving… sincere receiving… are not transactional. They are reciprocal. They are, by necessity, interdependent.
We cannot give if someone is not there to receive. We cannot receive if someone does not give.
We can neither give nor receive in isolation.
Yet, so many of us try to do just that.
Here, finally, is where our numerical values come into play.
Regardless of give value and receive value, the difference between the two gives us something much more meaningful – our RESIST FACTOR: the degree to which we resist reciprocity.
A super-giver with a give value of twelve has a receptivity of two… and a resist factor of ten. Such people give like crazy, receive once in awhile… but strongly resist anyone trying to reciprocate.
A super-receiver who is highly attuned to the needs of those around them, anticipating their friends before any call is ever made… has a receptivity of twelve, and a giving propensity of two. The resist factor is still ten. These people resist reciprocal contact to the highest degree.
In contrast, a hypothetically balanced giver-receiver, whose values are seven on both sides, has lower strength giving and receiving… but zero resist factor. These people accept help when they need it, and initiate help when it is needed. Nary a flinch.
The key factor for Missionaries of Saint Thorlak is not if we are inclined to give, or if we are inclined to receive. The number most important to know is our resist factor.
You may be a top-notch giver, or an open-armed receiver… but if you resist reciprocity, you are at high risk for spiritual starvation.
Next week, we will look more closely at the how the resist factor affects our spiritual nourishment, and where our other cards start coming into play.
PRAY: Heavenly Father, thank you for this opportunity to gain insight about myself. I consecrate all to You, exactly as I am, and ask that you reveal my strengths to me, reveal my needs to me, and use all that I have to your glory and service.
CONTEMPLATE: How might the resist factor be an impediment to spiritual nourishment?
RELATE: If this role play were to accurately reflect you, do you notice your resist factor? How easily do you accept reciprocity from others in your giving (initiating) and receiving (anticipating)?
May the power of Divine Love shine in and through my weakness, so that He might be glorified in and through me, and that in my weakness, His power may reach perfection. Through Christ Our Lord, AMEN.
Fr. Mark P. Nolette - Spiritual Director for the Mission of Saint Thorlak