Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Reciprocation: What goes around comes around

Tonight I was intending to call clients, do some program work, answer emails etc before bed. Ease the pressure on myself just a little, ya know. But I had a call from my bestest friend J (who, by the way, I've known for 26 years next month - where did that time go?), in need of a good long vent. So of course work obligations went out the window, while I listened, sympathised and was a supportive as a galpal can be.

And her problem got me thinking about reciprocation. Imagine a life spent giving to others - spending time with family and friends, doing small favours for them, cheering them up when they were down, inviting them to share a meal, being thoughtful about birthdays and so on. And for yourself? Well, you could eat well, exercise a little, take care of your health, be a bit careful with your money so you'd have something to live on in your old age. You would no doubt spend your later years, hopefully in good health, living in a nice home, surrounded by loved ones, leading a full, happy life.

Now imagine you never looked after yourself. You ate badly, ignored your health problems, smoked, drank heavily and didn't take your medication. You wasted your money on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling, never putting anything aside for the future. You sold your house to pay off debts and frittered away the remaining money. Worst of all, you never did anything for anybody. Never bought your grandchild a birthday present, never took your family out for dinner, never spent time with them, never even picked up the phone and called them....unless you wanted something. You "borrowed" money from them and didn't pay it back, never said thank you, just asked for more. You complained constantly, were rude, unpleasant, cranky and demanding and blamed the world for all your problems.

You'd probably end your days in a crappy under-staffed nursing home, in serious ill-health, with no cash to pay for the little extras that make life bearable. Miserable, bored and with no visitors to cheer you up.

The longer I live, the more I realise that you really do reap what you sow.

Something to think about.

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