Luke 6:33

If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Today as I was scrolling through my timeline(Twitter), I happened to bump into a tweet that said, “stop pouring into cups that don’t pour into your own.” Honestly the witch in me screamed “PREACHHH!” But on second thought, I was like, hollup! hollup!, wait what? Is this not manipulation?? ” The Law of Reciprocity.” This powerful psychological principle that says,” if you give someone something, the recipient is compelled to return the favor. It doesn’t matter if you give someone a gift, a kind gesture, or a material possession. The result is the same — they’ll feel that they owe you!” If you think this type of giving is disingenuous, it is.

The theory of giving;

It has come to my concern that very many people do not understand the theory of giving. Many a times we give with ulterior motives and expectations at the back of our minds. I’ve found that these expectations cause more stress than joy. They mar the act of giving which leads to disappointment when the recipient doesn’t return the kindness; and they tie ones intentions to an internal score card, which places a wedge in friendships and relationships. Majority have dressed barter trade so well that it looks like giving, even when it is not. It is a “you do me I do you” transaction.

I ask myself often, “What is my expectation?” before I do something for another person. The answer I find most acceptable, corny as it may sound, is to feel good and show love. There is a certain level of fulfilment that comes with being able to offer help to someone who needs it. It is the feeling of accomplishment for me. Strangely, when I let go of the need to control my returns for giving, I get enough, somehow. Life has a unique way of rewarding good deeds. Is there such a thing as “good karma?”

Giving does not require one to be very wealthy , it comes down to very many intagible things that require high degree of humanity, sacrifice, ethics, empathy, selflessness etc. The giving I am talking about is not transactional. You’re not really giving if you expect something in return.

People who adopt a “What’s in it for me?” attitude are obsessed with benefitting every time they do something. They are other “some to reap” kind of mentality. This mindset has significant consequences.

This attitude is unproductive, selfish, unfulfilling and to a certain extent egocentric. Some folks get frustrated if they don’t benefit from their efforts. This can lead to anger and resentment — causing friction in the best of relationships and sometimes depression.

Here is a list of a few things to keep in mind when you decide to give:

It is not a competition. If giving is going to leave you sad, empty or bitter, feel free to sit that one out, you can always give when it is comfortable enough. –Do not give out of compulsion and guilt but rather kindness and joy. Give because you want to not because you are compelled to. –Spiteful giving is not genuine. Give out of benevolence. Do not give because you want to prove to your neighbour that “you can feed his family.” –Do not give to show off. You can give without letting the whole world know about it. -Do not ask “What’s in it for me?” every time you are asked to do something?
-You do not deserve medal for doing extra work or for putting in extra time at the office? Drop the entitlement and do your work with diligence.
-Desist from the habit of keeping score every time you do something. Make giving apart of you.
-Do not go out of your way for someone, and assume that they owe you. It is not a transaction! –Stop compareing your level of effort to others, just to affirm you are not doing more?
-Erase questions like, “What will you give me?” when you are requested to help?
Do not rub it in people’s faces that you helped them or gave them something.
– Do not perform an act of kindness and make people feel guilty about it. A guilt trip isn’t a great gift. -Giving shouldn’t come with demands, conditions, a hidden agenda, or a scorecard.

In order to build any type of relationship that gives you the air cover to be able to ask for something down the line, you should always be the one providing the value upfront. You might not always get what you ask for, but at the end of the day, the absolute worse case scenario is that you had a positive impact on somebody through your actions, and as a human, that should just make you feel good.

You might not always benefit from giving freely and selfless with no strings attatched. But you can take great pride in knowing that you’re making a positive difference in the world. While takers may accumulate a lot of things in life, they’ll never experience the joy of being a giver. Here’s the secret: Give for the right reason — and that is, give for no reason at all.” FOR GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!

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