This is a phrase we have all heard all our lives... "give and take". It has been reiterated in every language that we can understand. It is a good thing too. Life goes better if there is some 'give and take'. We teach our children to share and give. But what is it that we really want them to do? When we talk of giving is it not in the larger scope of giving to the lesser fortunate, to the world.... to be generous?
But is it absolutely important to balance out every favour, every little gift and every little phrase? I do not know how it goes with you, but every time I give something to someone, I feel that they can't wait to return it. No, no, not the same thing, but in kind. Try it. Give someone a signature dish and the next day or the day after.. you'll get some dish they made. They borrow a cup of sugar and not only return that but add some fruit to it so they do not feel obligated.
Sometimes it is difficult to keep track where in the cycle one is. They give, you return, they give more and you give back.. till you forget where you are in the cycle. Who has the upper hand? Are you the one who has taken more or given more? Who has given you and whom have you given to? Did you dine at their place or should they be dining at yours? Did they call you or is it your turn to make that call? Did you get the compliment ( not that I mind) because you said something nice? It makes the head spin!!
I am not very good at accounting. So why do I, you may ask. Well, I learnt that if the opposite number is good at this egalitarian give and take, you better be good at balancing the scales too. If not you may be the one branded as the selfish taker.
I admit, not everyone I know is so gift aware. The close friends do not seem to mind one way or another, but in a world that neighbours and locals can get to you faster than any far flung family, you do have to get along with those around you. No one wants to be obligated and returning a container empty is an absolute 'no no'.
So should I wait for someone to read my post, or is it my turn to read another's??! :)