ehowton (ehowton) wrote,
ehowton
ehowton

Reciprocity


Divine Grace - God's gift of salvation granted to sinners for their salvation. Only, its not freely given. Not really. Sacramental/Orthodox religions aside, its only given to those who ask for it.

Cooperative reciprocal tendencies - positive reciprocity, and ethic of reciprocity - the golden rule - enumerate the benefits of existing in a mutually supportive environment. The things I desire in life, I give freely, so they may be returned upon me. If I have to ask for them however, it defeats the purpose. At that point rather than engaging in a fulfilling relationship with someone, I'm instead bartering for goods and services. Friendships and marriages then give way to partnerships and limited liability cooperatives, or worse - dependency.

Attachment reduces marriage to a quest for safety, security, and compensation for childhood disappointments.*

Prominent 60s psychologist Richard Lazarus asserts that people become accustomed to positive or negative life experiences which lead to favorable or unfavorable expectations of their present and near-future circumstances. I've written for weeks on the premise that expectations may or may not be realistic and can give rise to the emotion of disappointment. I know because I myself have fallen into this trap recently.

The famous sociologist, Robert K. Merton, wrote that a person's expectation is directly linked to the Self-fulfilling Prophecy. Whether or not such an expectation was truthful or not has little or no effect on the outcome. If a person believes what they are told or convinces himself/herself of the fact, chances are this person will see the expectation to its inevitable conclusion. If we act on false information, certain positive or negative unintended consequences could result. If overly positive or elevated expectations were used to describe or manipulate a person's self-image and execution falls short, the results could be a total reversal of that person's self-confidence. If thought of in terms of causality or cause and effect, the higher a person's expectation and the lower the execution, the higher the frustration level may become. This in turn could cause a total cessation of effort and motivate the person to quit.*

Even knowing that expectation leads to disappointment, I maintain an expectation of reciprocity for it is that which defines us as human animals, yet the moment I have to ask for it I rape it of its empathizing healing nature, turning it into a cold, selfish act. I cannot seem to untrap myself from this paradox, and feel it could very likely destroy me. That "one thing" I've been seeking which could unravel the very essence of my existence I may have finally discovered.

A professional psychologist once asked me to define intimacy. As I had recently published my thesis on self-actualized intimacy I very candidly replied, "dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity." The psychologist laughed. Then told me I was wrong. As an aside, it must very frustrating to have all the working knowledge and understanding of the psychology behind self-actualization coupled with the knowledge that you'll never reach it, let alone the underlying envy of facing someone who - by all accounts less worthy - has. He explained that "it" was none of those things and took me on a journey of beautiful descriptive modifiers in a very limited scope of application in which he never effectively stated what "it" was and when asked (because I did ask) he just shook his head in disbelief at my simplicity.

But there is never despair without hope! I implore you - all of you - to never become complacent with anything, ever. As a hard and fast rule you must aggressively reevaluate without provocation, for therein truly lies the secret to everlasting life.
Tags: philosophy, psychology, reciprocity, reevaluate
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