October 28, 2014

Reciprocity


It's commonly said that "what comes around, goes around"

I like to believe in that.
It's only fair.
You treat others the way you want to be treated.


But quite frankly, I feel like life tends to be a one-way street. 
Not that I do things with the expectation of being rewarded or having the favor returned in the future, but I personally think that it's reasonable for someone to treat you kindly if you've treated them kindly. Doesn't that make sense? If you lend someone your calculator, they may seem super thankful in their moment of desperation, but a day later, they might go back to ignoring you and not treating you like a friend. I'm not saying that I expect that person to be my best friend the next day after I do something kind, but why can't they treat me with a little kindness? Or at the least, be friendly and acknowledge me? And this hurts the most, especially when that person is a friend. I often find myself feeling undervalued and forgotten.

This one-way street results in someone feeling taken advantage of, and it sucks if this incident perpetuates. I find myself being the rock; the "mom" who is prepared and takes care of everyone, but who doesn't really have anyone to take care of her. Being responsible comes with its perks, but it's tiring when others consistently benefit from your preparedness and takes advantage of you. And what I mean by "taking advantage" is that one-way street chain reaction: you get absolutely nothing in the end, or you might even suffer.

I think it all comes down to someone's interpretation of friendship. There are different levels of friendship, but I personally think that the most basic results in mutual respect and friendliness. After a few years of friendship, I tend to think that mutual consideration is a responsibility of both parties. 

And some people might be saying right now, "that's such a petty problem. There are bigger things to worry about". 
And there are. I know. 

Ebola. ISIS. Drugs. Racism. Violence. 

But at the root of many problems (not all, but many) lie the issue of social relationships. Would the pressure to do drugs exist if friends cared a little bit more about their friends' health and less about looking cool? Would the "scare" and controversy surrounding Ebola cases be so grand if we all simply sympathized with others and decided to not place blame on a single individual or entity? Would ISIS exist if we were all respectful of each other's religions and beliefs? I know it's a stretch, but think about it. If mutual respect, understanding, consideration existed, a lot of issues would be eradicated, or at the very least, decrease in magnitude. 

So why can't we think of others? Why can't we be nice in return? Why do we have to make someone else feel like they're all alone, fending for themselves while we benefit from them? Why do we make them feel forgotten? 

I just think that we need to value the people around us a little more. It's not a hard task; it might require some conscious "kindness" or "friendliness", but something that becomes a conscious task will hopefully become a habit. A good habit. One that promotes kindness.
Isn't that what Ellen always says at the end of her show? "Be kind to one another". 
Can we at least try to be a little kinder? 

Think of all the things that could be fixed if we all just started being kinder. 
Genuinely thank someone for something they did for you.
Try to be a friend to someone else, and a real friend at that.


xoxo, Hannah







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