Reciprocity as a documented social concept & practice is as old as the Hammurabi’s code. It’s the basic parameter of human existence & can bring a level of stability in a human being & the society, which is one of kind, making it robust & sustainable, providing a capability to withstand both individual & societal crisis. In this complex times with individualism coming to the fore, agendas of different types have become a part of mainstream social culture aiming to it severe it right at its roots.
The individual agendas of the day are individual centric to the core & lots of times hidden with the outward packing is social values & commitments. What amount of time, energy & effort do we apportion to other individuals request for help & help resolve societal issues or make an effort to make a difference to the society we live in? We all look for help when we need the most & crib not getting it & have caustic comments on the society we live in. How many times have we provided such help? Reciprocity begets reciprocity.
It’s amusing but true as to how neatly we record or remember & then reciprocate gifts, both kind & cash, in equal measure from the ones we have received. We are not bother either about the feelings, the economic status of the giver or the time & effort he would have put in to be there. Nor are we bothered where our gift is of any use or utility. What we can best afford for his purpose is even beyond our realm of imagination. This formula is deeply ingrained in our hearts & minds, delivers the solutions & we mechanically go by it.
Individuals who benefit out of the groups resources without contributing their skills or resources are known as free riders. They are the parasites on the community. The larger the proportion of free riders, worse is the overall health of that community & the individuals who form it. Free rider form a predominant majority ably supported by free talkers. They have covered the virtually the whole media space today. Level of reciprocity is the final indicator of societal health.
RECIPROCITY IS A SOCIETAL NORM. IT OUGHT TO BE ADHERED TO.