The giver and the giver

I had a friend whose mother packed her lunch every day for school when she was in first grade. It was later discovered that the child had been giving away half of her food each afternoon to another first grader whose parents couldn’t afford packed lunches.

Instead of berating the child for sharing her only sustenance, her mother began sending her to school with two lunches—one for her, and one for her classmate.

This is the essence of how reciprocity works: as the child shared what she had, she eventually received even more of it to give. In other words, reciprocity is between the giver and the giver, not the giver and the receiver.

Light