Some people believe in Karma. I don’t. At least not in this world. I can believe the balances are re-leveled in Judgment in the next life. But here, I can only count on imperfect, selfish humans to screw you over after you have helped them. I say this after 48 years on this planet, mixing with the humans on a personal level. They aren’t all bad, not entirely. But by the time you figure out that the bad ones are just pretending to be one of the ‘good’ ones.. you’re already screwed.
Take a look at life in the wild whether it be the jungle or desert as to how animals interact. The predators distinguish whether the other animal is either another predator.. or their next meal. In the latter case, it will do anything it has to in order to gain the advantage and go for the kill. The instinct of the Predator is very simple; “Me first, you last.” Some predators gain this advantage through speed or power. But the most cunning are those who gain their advantage by way of camouflouge. The proverbial, “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Pretending to be something they are not.
Humans are not much different. In my experience I have come to label them as either “Takers” or “Givers” rather than predators and prey.. although the distinction is not entirely lost in either case.
These ‘Takers’ in human life are a crafty bunch. Very crafty. I have had sore dealings with them many times. They have learned that the best disguise is that of pretending to be in ‘need’. They will entreat you as if you were family. They will fawn over you with compliments. They will foster a thin veneer of trust. All of this is to accomplish two objectives; to get you to lower your guard and to take from you what they desire. It might be your money. It might be your spouse. It might be your body. It might be your Will. Or.. it might be a renter, as I have dealt with in the past, who needs someone to just help them out a bit as they “get back on thier feet”. You are a ‘Giver’, so you take pity on them. You sign the utilities into your name because they have no money for a deposit. You don’t impose the late-fee when they are late (again) with the rent. You fulfill every letter of the Lease which they coincidentally know down to it’s last details. In the end, they become Squatters.. stealing your investment for an indefinite period.. sticking you with legal hoops to jump through as they lavish in on the kill.. your rental home.
But they’re not limited to just securing free housing for themselves. They will tell you lies in order to gain your well earned Cash. They will stoop to dragging thier small children into the rain, stand at an intersection and beg for money. I once assisted such a man and his wife to the tune of over $1,200 before catching on to his ruse. It all came to a head when I helped him find a job and suddenly, he wasn’t interested in working. I contacted his Mother from another state. She was in process of moving to an undisclosed location so that her son could no longer steal from her in the future. I found out from her that his situation was due to his own decision to be a professional Taker in life. All that he had told me, to gain my pity since that day he dragged his kid into the rain turned out to be lies.
I have seen this drama play out so many times in my life. Sometimes it is the man who claims to love a woman.. only to later abuse her physically, mentally and financially until she is practically his will-crushed slave. That is what he desired from the beginning. Sometimes it is a woman who has a story of undying love and passion for a man.. only in the end to wipe him out financially the moment she has convinced him to marry. She placed herself as the wilting lilly in need of assistance, while waiting to pounce on his life-blood the moment his neck was exposed. Do not be unaware, those of you who are young and without life experience.. life IS a cruel jungle. Be alert to your surroundings, know your escape routes because your predator is very real, very crafty and unrelenting.
But Life is not all blood and death, thank goodness. As I stated, some people are Takers, others are Givers. If ever there was a tool that is indespensible in your backpack for life, it is this; Discernment. It only comes with time and being alert to minor details. Spotting the fake from the original. Is that a mesmerizing object before you?.. or the bait that dangles just within bite of the Angler Fish? Your survivial depends on you knowing the difference between a real Giver.. and the Taker disguised as a Giver.
When you do find a Giver in your life it may be a true friend, family member or lover. When time has shown that they are truly a Giver, who is not out to harm you or steal from you.. treasure that relationship. It is more valuable than gold or jewels. To know you have a true Giver as your spouse or friend is one of life’s subtle and amazing wonders. They are rare.. very valuable and so you should treat them with respect and loyalty.
Perhaps one of the most practical verses I’ve ever read from the Bible is, “Be as gentle as a dove, but as wise as a serpent.”. Wise words. Take this to heart and you will preserve your days. Strive to be a genuine Giver, for in doing so you will find it easier to spot the imposters. You will know how to test their behaviors. When you see someone in need, be aware of your surroundings as you reach to your wallet to give them a few dollars. The best person to help in need is the person YOU seek out, not the one who plants themselves in a conspicuous area as bait. Help out others in large groups of other Givers whenever possible, for there is safety in numbers. Your compassion is a valuable commodity in this world, so do not squander it foolishly without due diligence.
Be alert. Use discretion. Treasure the Givers in your life. Give to those in need with an eye out for your own legal liabilities, contracts and agreements of implied trust. Those who do not use discernment have found themselves murdered in the back of a van, woken up one day to find their entire life’s savings stolen, caught in the worse end of a business deal, lost their access to their children, held liable for damages they never caused.. or any number of consequences these Takers have of draining resources from their victims.
Be gentle as a dove.. yet wise as a serpent. Or you will only be prey.
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.