Mutuality: The Ever Growing Exchange For Favors!

Prologue: There is some reason; you may call it even frustration, in republishing my old article here. It is for someone who is getting helplessly caught in the crossfire of favors being granted or taken without having the ability to overcome or neutralize it. It applies anywhere the ‘someone’ works to eke out a living; it may even apply to governments. You all know what to expect when there is change of power—it means persons in key posts either get transfers or even the sack and some others filling up those posts. Naturally, the new rulers do not have ‘mutuality’ with the present ones and therefore take in the ones who fit their exchange for favors granted or taken. In an office the powerful chief possesses the strongest exchange and can thus indulge continuously in giving and taking favors (favors meaning any kind of profitable assignments). In a bigger office where there are more powerful post-holders parallel exchanges for favors work. When one chief does a project s/he invites all members of his/her exchange to participate and gets reciprocated in ‘taking’ ways. But, when several top bosses work together in a project the picture gets complicated, because the process enables, disables, confronts, restricts and bars ‘mutual’ people to get invited.  An open competition takes place for ‘favors’ to be given and only the most powerfully expert one manages to get his/her quota of mutual friends fully filled up. Someone who sticks to his/her yardstick of merit or ability for extending invitation (not favors, but calling upon to contribute productively) languishes and most often is ignored completely.  

The Article: Relationships of all shades and colors have, apparently, undergone a sea change in today's cut-throat modern times. Mutuality or reciprocity, though the underlying strength in olden times too, has now become conscious calculative logistics. And worse, even that conscious logistics have ceased to be respected.

In simpler terms, if every relationship is justified by a policy of 'give and take'; now it has become for some only to give give and give and for some only to take take and take leaving on its trail sufferers and broken hearts and divorced relationships.

Once upon a time one used to call up one's beloved just for the warmth of it. Now, if you call up your loved ones you are most likely to face the crushing query, 'So tell me, why you have called up?' Now, if you want to surprise your loved ones by visiting them you are likely to be most unpleasantly surprised. You will have to take an appointment well before the date and give your reasons for that too.

In fact, there was a lurking danger in the 'give and take' policy, conscious or unconscious. If it's 'give and take' it sort of harmonizes, but if it's 'take and give' it stinks. This danger, most probably, had opened the gates for exploitation and abuse of relationships. The 'takers' have become dominant and the 'givers' have become the sufferers.

In all marital relationships the husband is the natural 'taker' taking things for granted. The 'giving' wife suffers. The husband makes promises to give while taking and after promises fall flat he renews his promises to take more. Some aggressive wives, of course, can reverse this scenario, but then the misery only shifts to the other party. Relationships hardly get better.

All top functionaries, be it in government or in private firms or in corporations, enjoy immense powers of 'giving' in terms of huge favors, contracts, promotions, transfers, loans or sanctions. The shrewd ones expertly bargain for these powers and get compensated with plain cuts or bribes or more real benefits. The upright ones go on only giving expecting a natural mutuality that never comes. The expert ones in the opposite camp, like the taker husband, make promises to take favors, do not keep them and periodically renew the promises to take more favors. Relationships hardly get more productive.

All the credit card issuers make big promises to squeeze as much out of their customers as possible and when their lies are caught they make much more lofty promises to squeeze some more. Relationships hardly last.

Teenagers indulge in fast gives and takes. The expert ones try to optimize only the takes while the ones in the opposite camp try to minimize the gives. Relationships hardly grow.

The profound question that surfaces is: do the relationships have to be based on a harmonious policy of give and take? Has it then become a conditional access into a defined relationship? And even that conditional access is not at all free of the bug or the hackers? The unconscious 'harmony' of relationships in the olden times is lost forever?

The relationship matrix is getting more complicated, more perplexing and more frustrating day by day. Someone needs to try find out newer keywords for relationships very quickly and urgently.  (Source:)

Epilogue: The mutuality exchange leaves the ones who go by merit or ability fully frustrated, wasted and angry. However, s/he should not lose heart. Sometime somewhere s/he might still come out successful, fulfilled and happy.


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