Every human relationship is a transaction. An old Chinese saying sums it up perfectly, “Got come, got go.”
This means if something comes in, something has to go out too.
If you give me something, I must return in kind.
This may sound like a calculative and cynical approach to life. Is this the only reason for relationships, so that we can take advantage of one another?
But let me give a few hypothetical situations.
Suppose you have a good friend (or so you think), and every birthday (his) you send him a gift but when it comes time for your birthday, he conveniently forgets it.
How long do you think will you keep on sending him those gifts?
Or you have another friend, (again so you think) and one day, you need his help with a certain problem but at that critical moment (for you) he is nowhere to be found.
Will you still call him a friend after that?
In my business, people are extremely touchy about supporting each other.
The operative phrase is “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”
So if they give a concert, be sure to show your face because if you don’t, don’t expect them to show up at yours either.
(In the event that you still expect them to come to your concert even if you don’t show up at theirs, you’re either an egomaniac or a fool. What makes you so special that people should come and support you if you don’t support them?)
Blogging thrives on this ‘got come got go’ mentality.
If someone comes to your blog and post comments, be sure to return the favor, otherwise don’t expect them to be back.
I had a few people who used to come to this blog and post comments. At first I made valiant efforts to visit their blogs and return the favors too. But there is only so much of their cute kids that I could take and need to know so I stopped going after a short while and sure enough they stopped coming to my blogs too.
Which is perfectly fine with me.
This leads to a corollary to the law.
To be sustainable, the ‘come’ has to match the ‘go.’
If the ‘go’ comes at great cost to you, the ‘come’ may not be worth the effort.
In other words, if the required investment in time and effort is too great, then sometimes, it’s better to dispense with the return altogether.
So why is this good to know?
It puts you in the driver’s seat. You get to decide how much ‘come’ you want in your life.
First, despite what you may think, you’re not that special. Ultimately, the only person people care about is themselves, otherwise known as ‘Number 1.”
If you want people to care about you, start caring for them first.
And weigh the effort versus the return.
If it costs too much to perform the ‘go’, then forget about it. But don’t feel bad if you don’t receive the ‘come’ one day.