Getting what we give

If you act like a bull in a china shop, don’t be surprised if people treat you like one.

If you’re a shrinking violent, don’t be surprised if people pass you by.

While it’s not a law of relationships, the physical law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction is echoed in our relationships.

Darker actions beget darker reactions. Slander begets slander. Mistrust begets mistrust. Grasping begets grasping. Dislike begets dislike. Despair begets despair. Anger begets anger. Hatred begets hatred.

But so, too, lighter actions beget lighter reactions. Laughter begets laughter. Hope begets hope. Kindness begets kindness. Generosity begets generosity. Joy begets joy. Trust begets trust. Love begets love.

The reaction isn’t always right away — this isn’t physics, this is relationship. In fact, those who are good at the lighter actions expect a delay in their reciprocation by others. But the more we do them, the more they are done to us.

So, when we’re drawing darker deeds from others, we need to stop and think. Are these actions that I need to avoid reacting to in the same way, not getting sucked into their darkness? Or are these reactions to my dark actions that I need to stop doing, because of what they do to others and what it causes others to do to me?

But if we’re getting lighter actions from others, it doesn’t matter where they started. Are they actions or reactions? Who cares? Just keep them going. That’s the only thing that matters.