Is it possible for a person to give without truly expecting anything at all in r

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  1. Gerg profile image74
    Gergposted 10 years ago

    Is it possible for a person to give without truly expecting anything at all in return?

    Are you aware of anyone who has done this?  How and in what way?  And how is it that you are aware?

  2. anndavis25 profile image77
    anndavis25posted 10 years ago

    Absolutely!  When you give spiritually,  it feels so good that it seems almost selfish because it makes you feel so good to make someone feel special.  Giving to a good cause is the same reward.  Giving frees up your soul, and comes back 10 fold.  Whether it's money, or time, or labor.

  3. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 10 years ago

    That is what I taught my children. They offer to help others in their studies and expect nothing in return.

    They went to the extend of going the extra mile to teach their classmates who are weak in their studies and giving tuition to them without monetary returns.

    I am very happy to see their good intention as it helps to generate good Karma for themselves.

  4. msorensson profile image66
    msorenssonposted 10 years ago

    It is the only way to give..well strictly speaking, as long as you are still thinking of "giving" there is still attachment...When there is no perceived giver and receiver, then there is only the gift..whatever it is..

  5. Gerg profile image74
    Gergposted 10 years ago

    These are good responses, though I'm looking beyond idealism.  For example, I believe being a parent requires intrinsically unselfish actions that will likely never be fully understood by our children - at least not until they become parents themselves.  Even that has an undercurrent of doing so for the hope of achieving some form of immortality through one's children.

    My daughter likes to feed the homeless, and it bothers her to get credit in the form of service hours, because it implies it's being done for selfish aims.  I feel gifted that she sees it that way.  It can be argued that "feeling good" is an expectation in and of itself.  Certainly, if you think you're going to get anything in return, or if you hope you will receive good karma, both imply an expectation as well.

    It's a bit of a sticky wicket when you really think about it from a base understanding of human nature.  Hence the base question:  giving without any kind of expectation whatsoever...

    I was contemplating a hub on the topic - thinking about this from the perspective of the novel, "Magnificent Obsession" by Lloyd Douglas, written in the early part of the 20th Century, about a man who did that, though his was done for slightly different reasons:  guilt.

  6. plogan721 profile image84
    plogan721posted 10 years ago

    Yes it can happen.  It is the most selfless acts a person can do.  It also keeps a person from focusing on themselves all the time and give to someone.

  7. eaglecreek profile image60
    eaglecreekposted 10 years ago

    It can be done but it can be very difficult in the "greed is good" age we live in. Many give out of an obligation taught by their faith.The practice is known as "works". It is also believed by many the to truly give with no expectation of reward than the giver must keep the actions of giving between their self and the one they helped.
    So their may be many out there giving but we just don't know about them.

  8. whonunuwho profile image55
    whonunuwhoposted 10 years ago

    Yes. In 1990 I had a brain tumor discovered by an X-ray in the emergency room one evening. I was scheduled for an operation at Emory Hospital in two weeks. During this time I truly believed that I was going to die and I wanted to leave something of myself and for it to be a help to my fellow man. I set out to write for this was my greatest gift and managed to write not one, but two songs. One I dedicated to my friend who died in VietNam, and the other song was for my father, who had died a few year earlier in a car accident, My lyrics about standing up for freedom and being proud was accepted by publishers later and became a well received song sung by a well known artist at the time, The other song was about how my father had been like a wind that held me up, it too was a great success. Both songs became world famous, yet I was lost in the shuffle and never recognized. I have thought about this for some time and come to the realization that I must have been meant  to write these for a lot of people's benefits. This I gave of myself and feel it was a good and worthy gift to my country. I was able to overcome the tumor operation and resumed teaching a few years more. I was blessed that I got to do it all and truly for no personal gain.

  9. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 10 years ago

    Sure it is.  People often give out of the senses of empathy and compassion.  Empathy, of course, involves our feeling discomfort and a need to help when we see others in pain or need.  The simple instinct to ease that other person's discomfort is nothing but pure empathy.  They see someone in need of help or in need of something, imagine how they'd feel if if were they, and just want to ease the other person's discomfort, pain, suffering, etc.  The urge to give or help is absolutely, and completely, separate from wanting to get something in return.

    As a mother, the only thing I ever expected back from my children was respect (because I showed them respect, believe respecting others is important, and believed I had a right to their respect as well).  I gave in an attempt to make them happy, keep them healthy, make their life as good as possible, ease the fears, protect them, etc. etc. - but never to get anything (not even "immortality") back.  As it turns out, all three of my (now grown) children have been the absolute joys of my life; and having them in my life has brought things to it for which there are no words that are adequate enough to express.  So, I did end up getting so much back from what I gave.  That was never my motivation, though,  All I ever cared about was what I could/would bring to them.  That's how a whole lot of mothers are.  smile

    The best form of love (and the most perfect form of it) is love that is about what we can bring to the other person - not about what we get in return.

  10. arksys profile image83
    arksysposted 10 years ago

    there always has to be some sort of gain for the person who doesn't want anything in return... you can never know what kind of gain the giver will recieve from it...

    it could be as simple as the satisfaction to help someone; money or any worldly thing would dilute the experience or level of satisfaction.

  11. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 10 years ago

    i want to think almost everyone has given without expecting anything in return. when a person helps a stranded motorist i doubt they expect anything for it. when a person gives money to a homeless person they aren't getting anything in return. i'm hoping that giving help is a common thing for many people on here but one never knows.

  12. SidKemp profile image81
    SidKempposted 10 years ago

    I think these many answers come together to a firm "yes, people do give truly without expecting anything in return." And it is natural to do so. Mothers and fathers do it naturally for their children. In a healthy society, lovers and partners do it for one another, and children do it for their parents, as well. Children often have the natural impulse to help strangers in need.

    Unfortunately, most all of us have learned selfishness on top of this natural generosity. If we relax and watch things as they are, we will see many natural acts of generosity. If we feel the joy of giving without a thought of return, then we naturally do it more often.

  13. profile image0
    reeltaulkposted 10 years ago

    Anything is possible.......although many people behave and choose to think the same doesn't mean that there are those who actually say what they mean and mean what they more ways than one.  You may never know or understand the reason for someone doing something for you or "giving" you something.  But if you are aware of who they are you will know their intentions.  Giving freely is equivalent to accepting with knowing there are no intentions. ie:  If someone were hungry and reached out to you for food, would you in return give because you are seeking retribution and will have done your good deed for the day.  You wouldn't want to know that someone didn't help you if you were in the same situation because at the time it didn't seems as though you would be an asset to them sometime in the future.  (even though that shouldn't even be a thought) There are actually those that would give because they know that they need to, there is no science behind giving, you're entitled to give for whatever intention, but it doesn't mean it will return with your intention

  14. Eugene Hardy profile image59
    Eugene Hardyposted 10 years ago

    Yes, I do it all the time.

    And it depends on what you do or give.  It is easy to do as a simple kindness to another human being.

  15. Jackwms profile image60
    Jackwmsposted 10 years ago

    Well Gerg, I know I don't have to answer this for your benefit because you know the answer. But, yes, I have always done this with never any thought of repayment. Groups such as Inner City Outings in Sacramento take at risk youth and blind people on outings with never a thought of receiving something in return. It was the same with Mustard Seed and Bread and Roses that worked with the homeless. My inner reward was that perhaps I was helping people to live a better life. It really pleases me to note that my granddaughter is now working with the homeless with no thought of receiving payback..

    1. Gerg profile image74
      Gergposted 10 years agoin reply to this


  16. lostdogrwd profile image61
    lostdogrwdposted 10 years ago

    yes. I do it all the time and I look to God to look out for me and my family and his blessing but to who I give, I look for nothing from them, just to help them out for that time

  17. smzclark profile image61
    smzclarkposted 10 years ago

    I do it all the time. I expect nothing back for most of what I do for people, but usually something comes your way anyway...even if it's just feeling better about yourself for what you've given or done. They say that their is no selfless good deed, but I beg to differ on that front...although I am struggling to come up with examples to back my argument!

  18. moonfairy profile image74
    moonfairyposted 10 years ago

    yes. I love to give and the only thing I expect in return is the wonderful feeling that I get. I think that people do that all the just never hear about it. It's too bad that we only hear about the bad deeds. Humanity as a whole really is amazing. Wouldn't it be cool to have a news station that only broadcasted good things? I'd tune in every day smile

  19. cherriquinn profile image75
    cherriquinnposted 10 years ago

    I think that if you're also including positive emotions and possibly feelings as a 'return' from giving, then I would say that the answer to your question is both yes and no. I say this because I believe that as soon as you open yourself up to anything, this instinctively provokes a response either emotionally ,physically or phsychologically and if this response is positive and makes us feel good then we come to accept or expect this in 'return' for our actions. However, I do also believe that people can and do give without 'consciously' expecting a 'return' but as we're human beings the above comes into play ie provoked responses and we can't prevent this whether we want to or not unless of course we suffer from mental issues which completely de-sensitise us to situations.

  20. suzanno profile image70
    suzannoposted 10 years ago

    yeah. eg. love, a mother loves her child without expecting anything in return but for her that the most valuable feeling.
    also,anything which is in excess of our needs should be given away.There is nothing to be proud of when something is being done for others because the resources in this world belongs to everyone , someone would get a bigger share while some others gets a smaller share , but these resources are meant for each one of others and are meant for sharing.

  21. DeanCash profile image61
    DeanCashposted 10 years ago

    Yes, a millionaire mindset - I do that often. It is very hard indeed for poor man to say so because he want something in return. What you really want in your life is actually what you give.

    Hey it is not just money. Try this one, If your an expert on something (like a teacher) you can teach unfortunate ones (people who cannot go to school).

    Just try it. You will be surprise.

  22. Tusitala Tom profile image65
    Tusitala Tomposted 10 years ago

    If you discount the immediate feelings of satisfaction one gets in helping another with the expectation of nothing in return, I believe you can.  For example, nearly every few days an envelope or three arrives in my mail box from one or another of a dozen or so charitable organizations.   Some I ditch.  Most I send off a small check knowing that all I'm going to get back is an automated acknowledgement along with thousands of others.

    I regard this as giving without expecting anything in return and yet...  Being a believer in Karma and that adage, 'As ye give so shall you receive,' (and no, I'm not a 'Bible Banger) I guess really am expecting something in return in the long term.   

    So maybe I'm wrong.   Maybe even the saints expect something in return, some sort of holy blessing.   But is this what the questioner really means?

  23. profile image0
    Team Leaderposted 10 years ago

    Hello Gerg,

    I am not so sure about this one. I know people who live for giving to others. But then this is the way they were made and by satisfying their own need of giving they are taking something, too.

    I do not think it is not possible to give without getting anything back. Say, I would save another person's life but then I never see them again. By having saved their life I have already received because I know I have done the right thing, I feel good about myself. The question of expectation does not even arise at this point because I gave and received instantly.

    Your 'Team Leader'

    1. Gerg profile image74
      Gergposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      This is why I added that to the question; it makes it a more interesting answer ... like yours!

  24. IDONO profile image60
    IDONOposted 10 years ago

    After reading all these answers, it seems there is always something in common. People  say they want nothing , but yet they mention respect, feeling joy, rewards, feelings of  self worth. There are many more. These are all wonderful people and I pray they never change.
         I think people can do things without expecting anything in return. But I don't believe people can do things without expecting a reaction of some kind. How many times have we said," A thank you would be nice" or when we were disappointed when a person didn't jump for joy when we did something for them. Or we did something for someone and when they didn't react, we called them ungrateful. This is not a bad or selfish thing. It's being human. We are not saints.
         People don't do anything without some form of motivation. That can be to go to heaven if that's what you believe and that's good enough for me.
         If everyone had the attitude that all you people have, this world would be O.K.
         I will follow you all.

    1. Gerg profile image74
      Gergposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent thoughts, IDONO...


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