Giving & Taking

“Giving & Taking”

by Kelvin Chin
Life After Life Expert & Meditation Teacher

When my kids were very young — since birth actually — we taught them to “turn within” and take care of their own needs first. Whether that was through self-reflection or choosing toys that they really liked and maybe were even meaningful to them, rather than just to collect “more stuff.”

When our son Jesse was 8 and his sister Sam was 2, we told them “no more toys!” until they chose which ones they wanted to keep and play with — because their closet was piled up with toys on shelves never touched in months. Ever seen that happen, all you parents out there? 

So we told them we’d have a yard sale and they could keep all the money from their toy sales. It taught them how to value what was important to them. And how to cull and filter both on a material and an internal “turning within” level. 

Now, 22 years later, neither of them are collectors of stuff they don’t need. They regularly donate extra clothes and other stuff to thrift stores and shelters…and my kids are not financially wealthy. 

What does that approach do for you internally?

I think it frees us up to give more. Less energy is spent on amassing unnecessary material stuff, so we can use that energy to first “give” to ourselves, then give to others. 

I also taught both kids my “Turning Within” Meditation technique when they were 5 years old. This helps them “fill their tank” directly using their own mind to turn on that switch inside that “gives” to themselves first. So then they can later give more of “who they are” to others. 

We often hear in our culture the phrase “it’s important to give back.” I’m a former very non-professional athlete and following sports teams is a passion of mine. So every Sunday, Monday and Thursday night now we hear story after story of an NFL player “giving back to his community...”

That’s all good. I’m not knocking it. It’s important for those who have much to help those who don’t, assuming they want the help of course. 

That said, I’d like to suggest a slight — but I think meaningful — change in how we might describe this when we teach our children. 

I prefer to say “giving” or “being present” instead of “giving back.” Being present to help others. Or simply — giving. 

Because “giving back” implies either you have too much, which is a bad message. Because no one should accrue too much stuff (money or possessions), way more than they really need. Or “giving back” implies you’re giving what you shouldn’t have taken in the first place. 

So I prefer “giving” or “being present.”

“Giving” should always be without strings attached. Including without negative implications. Otherwise it’s another form of “taking.”

In just the same way that “volunteering to help others” when one is exhausted or sick, is yet another form of “taking,” not giving. You are draining others of their lifeforce when you’re not “full” internally yourself. Ok, maybe we’re never completely “topped off” full, but at least we need to be closer to full than to empty.

So again, I think we would do better as a society to each “fill our tanks” first — turn within and connect inside — before we turn our attention outwards to help others. That’s true giving. 

Kelvin H. Chin is a Meditation Teacher, Life After Life Expert, and Author of “Overcoming the Fear of Death.” He learned to meditate at age 19, and has been teaching Turning Within Meditation and coaching others in their self-growth for 40 years. He helps people understand their life challenges through their individual belief systems, and helps them find their own solutions. His past life memories reach back many centuries, and he accesses those memories in his teaching and his coaching in the same way all coaches draw on their own available experiences for perspective and effective analogies. He can be reached at