Do I Reciprocate for You or for Me?

When do I learn to share? The story

Consciousness: true selfishness


Kellogg School of Management’s Kellog/Insight: Focus on Research has posted an interesting article, When Does One Good Deed Deserve Another? – The calculus of reciprocity.

“Rationality suggests that trust should build slowly and that people should proceed cautiously when building a relationship. But what if you only have one chance to decide whether to trust someone? In that case, caution might be a poor choice… Both experiments showed that reciprocity increased as the money sent increased: sending more increased reciprocity.”

This research is interesting reading, but Judy Berg’s post today, Is The Little White Lie In YOUR Job Description? offers the basis for a totally different viewpoint.


This is actually a short article of questions.

When you look at the Body Conscious Guide, at what level do you function in your daily decisions to reciprocate with others or not?

What if we make our decisions based on how they affect us emotionally, what feels right, the true attitude of “selfishness”? Does selfishness actually equate to selflessness? Is this what Adam Smith meant when he referred to enlightened self-interest, as opposed to taking a million dollar bonus in return for laying off 10,000 employees?


So what will happen when executives, economists, politicians and financiers all catch up to the physicists’ new awareness, and figure out that we are all one? I sure hope that government “leaders” figure out soon that bombing doesn’t make friends, create security, or build the world’s economic health.

Closer to home, what will happen when you and I start making our daily decisions and investing our retirement funds on this basis?

The story of the photo above

I grew up in a large family, but never experienced twins up close. Two of my six grandkids are twins, and I remain fascinated with the sharing process that they live with daily. They have distinct personalities, interests and friends, and have established separate identities from birth. But one rarely gets to play a game, explore the computer, or sit on an adult’s lap, without the other looking for their turn.

I learn from them every week as they negotiate their boundaries, care for each other, learn the impact of different negotiation decisions and actions on their own happiness. They represent the model of our need to see others as ourselves.

Of course, if I consciously surround myself only with people I trust, it makes life a lot easier.

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