Monday, April 9, 2012

The Law of Reciprocity

I was motivated to write this post when I was having a casual conversation with my colleague Ashish.  He was assisting a junior acquaintance of mine for his GD/PI preparations in an institute. The background story is that I had referred Ashish’s name to my junior who was appearing for GD/PI in the same institute which Ashish had graduated last year. For the last 4-5 days, Ashish had been spending close to 45 minutes discussing & assisting my junior with his preparations even though my junior was a stranger to Ashish until then. I was appreciating Ashish on his good natured help, when he said that he was simply returning the favor. That got me interested and I asked him which favor he was referring to. He replied that when he was preparing for his GD/PI interview, he was assisted by his senior who had spent quality time with him which helped him in converting his call. Now he being a senior, he simply was returning the favor back by helping someone.

That got me thinking. My friend Ashish was not only being grateful for the help he had received, he was also reciprocating it by freely offering his services. What’s more interesting is the fact that the senior who had helped Ashish had started off a chain of reciprocity by helping Ashish. Or probably that senior would have received some help from his senior and he too decided to help his junior (Ashish). No matter what the case was, the good thing is that the chain of reciprocity was started because of the act of a one individual who had offered a help initially. And it continues to touch many people’s lives in multiple ways. It also makes people grateful for the help received & provides free help being offered to the deserving. And probably, this is what immortal truly is. Someone who remembers your little act of kindness/help & helps others by being grateful for it, I think that you have been immortalized by your act of kindness. Thinking back, even in my life I can recall instances when people have touched my life by sharing an encouraging word when I was down or by sharing inputs which had helped me make a good decision. Iam sure all of us would have experienced something similar.

We don multiple roles every day like that of a Father, a son, an employee, a Manager, a Citizen, a Human. We become so engrossed with our own lives, that it’s only less often we tend to reflect on the impact we are making on others & what we are doing to make this  world a better place. Even if we intentionally focus on taking an initiative and doing one minor good act for someone, for anyone who we meet, the good feeling which comes along with it can only be experienced.  The act of kindness can be a small thing like guiding someone who is confused, cheering up someone, helping someone financially, there is no limit to the way we can touch others life. The one learning which I would like you to take from this article is ‘How many chains of reciprocity have you initiated today’. 

As  Stephan Grellet said,

“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

1 comment:

Destination Infinity said...

For some reason, I was reminded of this quote, "Remember that everyone is fighting a tough battle". Sometimes, we get angry on others for silly reasons. But if we try to put ourselves in their shoes, we can be more compassionate towards fellow humans. Only people who can see beyond petty politics can help others without expecting anything in return. It's a good quality to develop.

Destination Infinity