Life Is Not a One Way Street
I recently saw a Facebook friend complaining that not enough people pay attention to her posts by “liking” them or commenting on them. She was specifically referring to some recent photos she put up. It made me wonder how many things she was “liking” that other people put up.
I am a serial “liker” and I like most posts that friends put up – it is just my nature to do so, and I do it with honesty and good intentions. In fact, my kids think I am Facebook popular ( a dubious honor to be sure) because I get so many responses on my photos and statuses. There is an easy explanation though -it is because I give out double what I receive!
But this post got me curious – I looked to see when this FB friend last “liked” one of my posts, blogs, or photos. There was just one a long time back and that was it. (I call this research for my writing, not a waste of time!) Perhaps there were a few others, but I didn’t go back very far. I don’t usually track or check these things. I never expect reciprocation in any form.
Yet some people seem to think it is all about them. That life is a one way street to their destination. I have found the opposite – life is a two way street. Like the Beatles sang, The Love you Take is Equal to the Love You Make.” In other words, you give, you get back in bunches. Reciprocation is a wonderful concept that many people don’t get. My life is rich because it is a two way street. I find that the more and more I give, the more I receive in every aspect of life. Again, it is not expected or a requirement. Life just happens that way.
Here are two more examples: a friend lamented that she was never invited to holiday dinners. So I told her to make her own and invite friends. That will start a cycle of giving and getting invitations back, and she will be occupied and happy on holidays, surrounded by company.
I understand that some people are just natural takers. I am a natural giver, as is my husband. And that is part of our nature, something that is not purposeful – just part of us.
Another example since I promised two: This one kind of annoys me a lot but I haven’t mentioned it before. If I have any passive-aggressive behavior in life, it is about the following.
I have tons of friends and acquaintances that want me to promote in my blog or write a story in the newspaper about the latest greatest thing they are doing. They want some free publicity. Normally, I respond to as many of these requests as possible. In fact in a room of friends and acquaintances, I would be hard-pressed to find too many people who I haven’t promoted something for in the past years.
In the last year I have cut back though, because these same people (mostly acquaintances and not close, close friends) asking favors (some repeatedly) are not responding to my blog, helping to promote my blog, or otherwise reciprocating for me. It is so easy to reciprocate – it is just a click of a FB or twitter button at the bottom of each of my blogs shares it with others. Or it is as easy as leaving a comment, or talking about it on FB so others notice. That’s how we bloggers get more readers.
I am not complaining – I do a great job of self-promotion and have a lot of regular and loyal readers, but bloggers always need more readers. It is like a marketing game. So of course I HAVE noticed a lack of reciprocation for most of the people who ask me for writing favors. I have never put conditions on these favors, so it is easier for them NOT to reciprocate, I guess.
I don’t go around begging for others to promote my blog, even if they love it. That would make me a taker, and it is not in my nature. I admit, I am not the slickest salesman, and writing work is 10% talent and 90% selling yourself. Sigh.
So today, I am promoting the basic concept of the two way street. Give and you shall receive. It’s generally the way life works. Am I right?