are you a contributor or consumer

By March 12, 2012Leadership

We are a nation of consumers.  Where I went to college, a town of only 3,000 people, there were more restaurants than places to get your hair cut.  Surprisingly, no enterprising entrepreneur ever combined the two.

We consume … food, toys, gadgets, data, information, internet, news, entertainment … in short, we consume everything.

Just this morning, I consumed bacon, eggs, and coffee.

The problem is not with consumption per se* but when we develop a consumer mentality.  What does a consumer mentality look like?

  • It’s when you ask, “What will you do for me?” before you ask, “What can I do for you?”
  • It’s when you would rather have your hand out than to offer a helping hand.
  • It’s when you process every decision through the filter of your own feelings instead of asking, “Is this the right thing to do?”

When the consumer mentality shows up at work, it creates a passive culture.

When the consumer mentality shows up at church, it creates a selfish culture.

When the consumer mentality shows up at home, it creates an argumentative culture.

Here’s the good news: we have a choice.  We can choose to approach life as a consumer, seeking only what’s in it for us.  Or, we can opt to become a contributor, looking for ways to create, add, and contribute to those around us.

The debate over consumer vs. contributor is not political; it is personal.  It’s more about your attitude than your aptitude.

What about you?  Do you tend to be more of a consumer or a contributor?