Sunday, 29 April 2012

Scratching your back

In our household, we work with "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine". It has worked well for us ever since hubby and I got together. We used it to renovate our home, build a family and shape our lives. We encourage it with our children to work together to get something done. It works well in the community too, so I wonder .... why some people can't see beyond themselves to support others and build their own support network?

It is common knowledge that despite being very skilled and competent, there are some things you just can't do yourself. And some things are achieved easier and faster with help. I'm sure the pioneers of every community around the world have used this system successfully, otherwise the barter system would never have been used. To share your skills, knowledge and material objects with others, who in turn can offer you something you need is invaluable. Even in this modern day, the barter system is used as much as ever to get things done, to save money and to make life easier.

It saddens me when there are people with skills that have a selfish attitude about helping others. Sure, you might have worked hard to obtain those skills, but what is the point if nobody gets benefit from that hard work? Some people need more help than others, and that's OK too. I'm a huge believer of "what comes around, goes around", in both the good and the bad sense. In the end, even if the only reward you get is seeing somebody happier, then isn't it worth it?

Just as bad as those who find it hard to give, are those who are takers. There seems to be many of these around. They are absent or conveniently too busy if someone needs a hand, but are too happy to ask for help, and many actually expect it on a regular basis. I'm sorry but this can only go on for so long before you put someones nose out of joint.

We have often been in the situation of "it's not what you know, it's who you know". We have some amazing friends and contacts that we have called on over the years to get a good deal on a product, to do a particular job at mates' rates or offer advice. We like to think that these friends will call on us in return, and many of them have.

So have a look around you. What do you have to offer? Do you have the need for some expertise in exchange for something you have to offer? Are you a giver, a taker, or doing a great job at both? Do you work on this system?