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The Economic Power Of Reciprocity

Great Ujamaa:

The internet is down this morning, and I had to get in my Kuumba this morning. Actually this is an opportunity for me to experiment with just podcasting this morning. Due to the rise in prices I have to begin deciding on what I will keep in my arsenal of apps that I use on a daily basis. So enjoy the podcast and let us know what your thoughts are. Here is the write up for the day:

Reciprocity is powerful because it's inherent in human nature. It is a deeply ingrained part of our culture, and is the cornerstone to building an economic system that works.

Tribes are built on reciprocity, and as such there's always plenty of it to go around. People simply give each other what they have in excess, and ask for what they lack.

This is why tribes are sustainable. They work in harmony with human nature, instead of trying to fight against it. Let me ask you a simple question: how long do you think your tribe would last if you only gave people things when they paid you for them? That's essentially how we live now. We all pay taxes, insurance and rent to keep civilization going - which means that we don't get anything back from most of the things we buy with our taxes and rent money. In fact, most of the things we buy require us to pay taxes or fees on top of the purchase price.

MOST people are good. They want to help you and they want to help themselves. This is the basis of Ujamaa and the basis of a successful tribe/community. This is also the basis of a successful economy. Tribes are successful because everyone in the tribe is not trying to exploit everyone else for their own personal gain. Once you understand this concept, you understand the power of reciprocity.

Reciprocity is when one party does something for another, who then feels obligated to return the favor. Our entire lives are based around reciprocity. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours…

This idea of reciprocity applies to everything in life, from our friendships and relationships to our jobs and even our religion. Reciprocity is essential in all of these aspects of our lives because it creates a bond between people that would not exist otherwise. If you buy someone a drink at a bar or make sure they get home safe after drinking too much, they will recognize your kindness in some way or another and feel obligated to do the same for you in return. It is this that we have to build upon and make stronger if we are to move our Tribes to the next level. Here are some questions for those on the #NguzoSabaChallenge:

What do you feel is the importance of reciprocity when it comes to building a tribe and an economic system?

What are your thoughts on the reciprocity of ujamaa?

How can you use reciprocity to build a tribe?

What's your favorite ujamaa proverb?

What is your definition of ujamaa?

What do you struggle with when it comes to reciprocity?

What is your favorite memory of a time when you felt like you were part of a tribe?

What do you think about the tribe as a community?

Can you think of a time when someone has been ungrateful for your efforts? How did it make you feel? 

I believe that the concepts in this post will help you build your tribe, and long term relationships, by using the law of reciprocity. Knowing how to use this lever will help you develop its power to bring individuals together so that they can not only help each other, but thrive together as well. Here are a few ways to increase reciprocity in your group:

1. Lead by example

2. Practice reciprocity yourself

3. Reward reciprocity when it occurs

Here is your proverb:

When a chick ignores its mother's warning, the eagle grasps it for a meal.

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