Generosity Is Not A Currency

This morning, I sat at the dining table with my wife while she was having breakfast. It was pooring outside, just terrible weather. She had to go into office today and usually she goes by train so has to bike her way out to the train station. We did what we usually do, and checked the weather report. It turned out, it’d be dry in about ten minutes so she could quite easily ride her bike without the weather interfering. But time flew as usual so she’d be too late if she left by bike now. So I said: I’ll drop you off. She replied: I’ll pick you up tomorror night then!

That’s when I thought: You don’t have to do this for me because I do this for you. Generosity is not a currency. I’d happily bring you to the train station, I don’t want anything in return for that. But honestly, it’s probably been one of the first times I actually thought about it that way. She said it with good intent of course but it made me feel like it was a transaction which it wasn’t.

I sincerely hope people don’t feel they have to do anything for me just because I did something for them. Sure, after a lot of giving, It’d be nice if you’re here for me when I ask for some favor but there’s not a single fiber in my body feeling any grudge if they don’t. You see it all the time. People who seemingly do something selfless for you but if it comes to the point they need something and don’t get it, they reply with “but I did this for you, why won’t you do this for me”?

It’s because it’s not a currency. And your life is a lot nicer frankly, if you stopped thinking about it in that way. So I encourage you to do stuff for people just because the sake of it. To make them happier. To make their lives just a bit better. And if you want that happiness to be the same for the both of you, don’t expect anything in return.

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