Commentary

Things You Shouldn’t Be Stingy With

One of these days, I’ll run out of something to say. That’s how the thinking goes, right? Yet the days I actually have the least to say are during those stretches when I haven’t been saying much. It’s much easier to write something if I’ve got a string of days behind me in which I’ve written other things. Thought begets thought. Writing begets more writing.

It’s hard for us to wrap our heads around concepts in which the objects aren’t finite and countable; we treat everything as though it runs out, from words and thoughts to love and compassion. That may be because we confuse giving with taking, logically inferring that they are opposite parts in some zero-sum game: If you give 1,000 words today, you’re taking 1,000 words from your future writing.

But ask any parent whether giving love to their first child meant they couldn’t love their second as much, and they’ll tell you that’s not how it works. (Attention and energy, yes; love, no.) You only learn how to love more.

Taking depletes. Giving rejuvenates. So don’t be so stingy. There’s more where that came from.