The Latin words quid pro quo is a sophisticated way to say: “give or take,” “tit for tat”, “this for that” or “a favour for a favour.” Whether we know it or not, most of us practice quid pro quo on a regular basis. Here are some examples:
1) Sending a birthday card and thinking that we should receive a note of thanks in response.
2) Inviting someone over for dinner and believing that a reciprocal invite should be forthcoming within a reasonable length of time.
3) Sending a text and expecting an immediate response.
4) Working overtime on a project to get a career boost.
The problem comes when our expectations are dashed and a subtle feeling of betrayal comes over us. If we are nice, we expect the same in return. If we go out of our way, then others should, too! After all, one good turn deserves another.
Here’s a thought. How honest are we with ourselves? Do kindness, graciousness, mindfulness and compassion come with a price tag?
The more difficult question is: Do we give something, so that others feel obligated to return the favour?
Or can we just be happy because we gave? Something to think about…
“The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.”
Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 CE) Roman Emperor