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October 31, 2009

jigsawOne of the people we met in Grand Forks this month was talking about activities in which folks take turns deciding what they’re going to do together, and even if it’s not one’s favourite thing, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate reciprocity just to show up and give something that someone else likes a try when it’s their turn to lead the way.   It was such a simple and elegantly stated thought…  

In an early issue we gave Susan’s banana bread recipe as a way of quite easily making a gift for someone and at least some folks made and the idea of reciprocity was one of the first conversations that came up when we began focusing on this work.  Last month we met a family who wondered what more their daughter could offer – what were the other opportunities she might have to reciprocate.    We were moved and educated by others in the room who also knew her and talked about things they found special – the things about her that they found to be “gifts” – her ready, huge smile, her glorious hair, her very presence…   reasons they wanted to spend time with her and were glad to see her when they did.   She might well be able to take on other roles that were recipricol, and that’s one great conversation, but she is also just fine just the way she is, and that’s another great conversation.   A gift.   As are we all…   and that constant realization is one of the many reasons that some of us do this work.  

In our last issue we polled readers about reciprocity:

Reciprocity is the act of giving back something, to friends, family and community. How do you do that?

I make things for people I care about 14%

I tell people how I feel about them 14%

I do things for people 43%

I like to surprise people who have done things for me! 29%

You can still participate in this poll by clicking here to add your thoughts.

“be patient to all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

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