Saturday, March 17, 2012

The list keeper

Keeping meticulous lists of who owes you what, in my mind, is as bad as holding a grudge. If you say things like: "I took him out for dinner, he owes me" or "I helped her with that project, she should be more grateful" or "I helped them with their mortgage, they should be more respectful" then you are not generous. You are not, because you did what you did with the expectation of getting something in return.

That's not how generosity works. There are no angles in generosity, no hidden agendas or motives. Generosity is the act of giving without expecting anything in return. If you are expecting, then you're just a dealer of favors (which is fine as long as you and the other person are aware of it).

The thing I learnt though, about being generous, is that it always comes back to you: people will want to be generous back to you. That's just the way it works.

There really is no point in keeping lists. None.

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