Yes, that was a Spice Girl's reference.
Yes, I am ashamed.
There is a strangely universal truth that I think most of us are afraid to admit or consider because we fear it's too pessimistic. This truth being that everyone you encounter/who persists in your life, wants something from you. It's what motivates us/moves us through space.
For instance, you go to work and your boss wants you to do your job (at least hopefully that is all he/she wants). It may be something far more scandalous and your boss may want something of a more salacious nature in order to acknowledge that you do your job, etc etc, but regardless if it is the innocent/professional desires or those you expect to only see on day-time tv, they are desires that require something from you.
I may ask my best friend what she wants from me, and she will pleasantly reply with something like "Nothing but your company" (she's bizarrely well-spoken and overly polite like that, seriously, I don't understand why she's friends with someone like me). Now this is a very sweet and friend-like response. You may be like, "Kiri, this person doesn't want anything from you at all" and I would answer, "I suppose that depends how you value your time and that person."
For example, I enjoy being with this person, we're both very independent but we get along extremely well, so hanging out is mutually beneficial.
But let's consider that phrase, "Nothing but your company". Let's say this friend was not so overly polite and lovely, let's say what she wanted was a complete monopoly of my company, then that would certainly change things, wouldn't it?
You look at charity work--giving toys to children. You give because you want these children to be happy; to have as normal of a childhood as possible and we do this so they will grow up to be hopefully adjusted adults.
Even this blog! What do I want from you? Your readership. I want your hits on my counter because it means more people see it, and the more people see it, the more this message is spread. Knowledge is power, so they say. I may even want your input (always) or a discussion which is wanting even more because then I'm expecting you to actively engage with me which is even more time and energy.
I'm not saying these are bad things to want, I'm not saying I feel our actions are selfish, but they are self-motivated. Even if I just want you to be happy--I'm doing something because I want it--and for all I know (for some reason) you may not want to be happy. Regardless, we're still motivated because we want things from other people.
And that's okay. But accepting that and knowing that everyone you encounter wants something may end up helping you in the long run. Because if you aren't willing to give them what they want from you... maybe they shouldn't be in your life.
The past few months have been about re-evaluating toxic influences on my life... and this little thought has oddly been helpful.
So I thought I'd share.