Do We Give in Order to Get?

July 31, 2010 |  by

Evolutionary biologists call this reciprocal altruism.

In other words, if I lend you my car, maybe I’m partly (subconsciously) hoping you might help me later on. Or if I give flowers to a loved one, maybe it’s in hopes of being loved in return. Really, these kind of interactions pervade our daily lives – at home and at work.

The evolutionary biologists use this to say we’re all “selfish” in the end.

I’m not so sure.

Can you think of any moments when you gave – without any thought of “getting” in return (not even a thanks, smile or sense of fulfillment)? If so, it’s worth noting, because in those moments something special happens. We transcend the rule.

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1 Comment


  1. This is my most favorite rule to transcend! What you get from giving without receiving and without expectation is immeasurable.

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