When you give someone something, do you expect something in return? Do you give with the expectation of being repaid or do you give without needing to be repaid?
Reciprocity is when two people exchange things and each benefit. Kinship reciprocity relates to the giving nature of a parent. Parents give to their children and know that they won’t receive anything back. They pay for food, shelter, sport teams, and vacation. Parents give, but don’t expect anything in return. Parents just want to support their children.
My parents are no different. They do more for me than I can every repay them for. They give without expecting anything in return. They took me and my siblings to countless sports tournaments growing up, but don’t expect us to pay them for all of the costs. They feed Austin and me every time we come home, take days off work, and look out for our needs and desires. I usually look through the house for random, useful things I need for my own place that aren’t being used. My parents let me take old kitchen utensils or towels and don’t expect anything in return. All of this is out of love.
What if we all practiced kinship reciprocity this week?
What if we gave without expecting anything in return?
The world doesn’t owe you anything. Don’t wait around for people to give you what you want. Give to others. Give to those who can’t do anything for you. Give without expecting anything in return.
What does that look like in our lives?
Take a friend to dinner and pay for them.
Buy trash bags and paper towels for your apartment without asking your roommates to pay you back.
Help a friend with his/her homework because you care about them.
Giving to others doesn’t have to be extravagant. If you give your time and energy to someone, he/she will notice. Kinship reciprocity could mean that you sit down and listen to someone’s day without expecting him/her to give you any words of affirmation.
Be attentive to those in need.
Give without expecting anything in return.
I appreciate you.