I have known the saying "take what you need" for years. However, only recently did I realize that it can be interpreted in more than one way.
Since one usually prefers what one has known for some time, I will start first with the meaning as I originally understood this idiom and then in the new way I have noticed.
Originally I thought it was a sentence that you say to other people. Saying that they should take from me what they need, as long as it does not reduce my quality of life. As a kind of charity that should help one not to hoard endlessly, of whatever, for oneself. You could say as an idiom to inspire sharing. If not to share, then at least to pass on the part of his possession, for which one personally has no use, but can be useful to others.
To make it short again: I understood it in such a way that if someone needs something from me, he should take it, without that person needing to ask me, as long as I do not depend on what he takes.
Lately However, I have begun to understand this phrase in such a way that it is not a phrase that you say to others but something that you say to yourself. Since I am a person who likes to put myself second and let others go first without any major problems. Furthermore, I also rather pay attention to the needs of others and do not prioritize myself very often.
That in itself is nothing bad, I would even say that I find it good not to see myself as the navel of the world. Of course, you can never be sure whether you put yourself second because you're too lazy to leave your comfort zone or because you value your counterpart.
However, sometimes you have to take what you need.
By this I don't mean that you take out your elbows and try everything come hell or high water to reach your goal. However, in life, what you want is rarely handed to you on a silver platter. Sometimes it is up to us to stand up and take what we need.
I can't say exactly which interpretation of the saying I like better. I find both interpretations inspiring and motivating. Once in the sense that you should also think of others and not only of yourself. On the other hand, you must not forget yourself completely and sometimes have the courage to stand up for yourself.
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