Say you’re in a park, you come across a group of breakdancers, get sucked in and watch for ten minutes. But just as it’s winding down, you can either stroll away before the hat is passed, or you can stay, applaud, and drop a buck in the hat.
That breakdancing show could be watched for free after all, so walk on. On the other hand, it was an exhibition of acrobatic skill you enjoyed watching and you might want to encourage and show appreciation for their art with a tip.
You’re the only one who’ll really know what you did. Ethics is what someone does when no one’s there to witness what’s being done. The takers will see a chance to get something for nothing and givers will see a chance to offer support for sharing. Making communities bigger or smaller.
Takers tend to do what they have the right to do with less concern about what’s the right thing to do. Maybe takers are looking for opportunities to hoard some more stuff. More what? Depends. If it’s a large number of cats, then you’re that crazy cat person. If it’s extreme wealth, you’re called successful.
Look at Warren Buffett. He thinks much of his success is due to being born in the United States at a certain time during the 20th century into a stable, hardworking and encouraging family. Though he’s polite enough not to mention it, also being caucasian and Christian probably added to the beneficial confluence of contributing factors because that was the dominant culture during that time.
He’s made sure his family is comfortable. But the bulk of his extreme wealth is being plowed back into the system that helped him achieve so much. Warren Buffett is trying to leave the campground better than he found it.
Happy people aren’t just happy in themselves but are the cause of happiness in others. “Us and them” isn’t a way to build and maintain a community. A strong and happy community makes more people happy, whether they’re givers or takers but the givers seem happier to me.