In the generosity economy, we are all taking steps to help one another. We are open to possibilities, we work to create success for others, and we hope and expect that others will also open up to and support our own success.
“Trading favors” is entirely different. It is: “Here’s what I’m doing for you now, and what are you going to do for me now or soon in return?”
In one case, you genuinely care about others’ success. In the other case, what you get now and later is really all that matters; you’re just using creative tactics to get there.
In one case, there is an element of faith and trust, and a sense of abundance. In the other case, you believe and act like what you have to offer is scarce, and that the only time to get what is coming to you is right now.
The difference is clear, and everyone can smell it a mile away.
3 thoughts on “You can’t trade favors”
Sasha, you are right that there is a big difference between genuinely offering help and expecting a quid pro quo. I find that with the difficult economic times and general craziness in the world, people are much more open to simply helping each other for the simple pleasure of being kind. At least that is how I like to view the world and I think I am right.
I’ve been wondering how you handle anyone who might take specific advantage of your generosity since you’ve been so public about Generosity Day? If they know you won’t say no on that day what stops people from asking for something outrageous or from bombarding you with requests?
I’m trying my own little experiment about Generosity Day on my blog. I’d love for you to check it out. Random Acts of Blankets
Just a thought – I keep on wondering whether on some level you are expressing disillusionment with the capitalist system. I know that’s not what you say, but the current system causes all sorts of relationships to become transactions. A Professor at York University writes that we must acknowledge ‘gross commercialisation of all spheres of human life including culture and social relations.’ David Harvey, another professor at CUNY, talks about how this system is even linked to our race against time on a daily basis.
Even on the level of ideas – there are a lot of barriers to criticizing the current system as people start with Socialist labels and how Socialism does not work. But capitalism is failing for thousands of people everyday. Maybe even thinking about these ideas – thinking about the structural issues and causes – is integral to imagining a different human being and a different world. Maybe then everyday can be Generosity Day.