Home CFB Borden Reciprocity


Reciprocity, the give and take in much of our lives is based on a devised or assumed reciprocal relationships. Reflect with me for a moment about love, kindness, and compassion considering reciprocity. Should the love we offer, share, and give to others be reciprocal? Should we act with the expectation that the love will be returned? Has the love you shared, the kindness you have given or offered through compassion for another person been reciprocated? Expectations are often the issue in our relationships or interactions with others. What we expect in return. There is immense joy however in sharing love for humanity, to give and share kindness, to be motivated by compassion for someone, their condition and or situation without expecting anything in return. Some have called this unconditional love.

Many of you have had the pleasure of serving others in vulnerable situations, people experiencing homelessness, illness, poverty, and marginalization. The kindness you offered in affirmation, a meal or the shelter you gave was freely given with no expectations. It is difficult to quantify the euphoria of caring for others when we expect nothing in return.

I offer this reflection because, when we have difficulty in relationships, whether collegial or personal, we can focus on the ‘give and take’ the I have done this for you and you owe me attitudes that creep into relationships when we view them as 50/50, or my part and your part.

So, here is a bit of a Chaplain challenge, try doing some things over the next week for people you work with or live with without expecting anything in return. From dropping off a double-double or cutting a neighbor’s grass. Just do the act of kindness and split. Enjoy.

By Capt Michael Bowyer