Apr. 6th, 2014

hearthstone: (Default)
As a semi-reconstructionist polytheist, I don't necessarily adhere to every single aspect of historical practice, but reciprocity is a principle that I hold to absolutely. A gift for a gift. The responsibility of host to guest and of guest to host. "I give that you might give." Ghosti.

The role of exchange in building relationship is something a lot of folks seem to take issue with, and it is certainly a thing that can be done in a bare and contractual way--but if that is what you are doing, you are missing out.

Every relationship--every one--has some element of exchange to it.

The existence of the exchange confirms in some way the worth of the relationship.

There is no such thing as something for nothing.

(As a side-note, years ago, when folks would try to convince me to sign up with their church, one of frequent selling points was the claim that what their god gave was "something for nothing," that what he gave was given with no strings attached. That, of course, was untrue. That whole "no other gods" thing is a pretty big string. After all, if someone offered to be your friend, but only if you had no other friends, while they maintained similar relationships with any number of others, would that seem like a good deal? Not all Christian religions take this approach, of course, but enough do that this was not a one-time experience.)

An offering is not a bribe. It is not buying favor. It is a single piece of a relationship.
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