Not a Xmas Gift

The Quechan, the indigenous people of the Andes, call it Ayni. It’s a gift you give freely, without expectation of getting something back. And it is a basic tenet of their lives. You need a house, the community will help you build it. You are hungry, the community will feed you. The interesting part of this is that if the entire community subscribes to the idea of Ayni, everyone will be giving and, more importantly, getting what they need…all the time.

Human beings strive for balance. Giving a gift without expectation creates an imbalance. If you give me something then I want to give something back. Think about how you feel if some generous someone picks up the tab for dinner. The imbalance needs to be resolved.

Seth Godin said “When done properly, gifts work like nothing else. A gift gladly accepted changes everything. The imbalance creates motion, motion that pushes us to a new equilibrium, motion that creates connection.”

All of your networkers out there: think of the networking world as your community and your referral as Ayni.  Give it like a gift and expect nothing back.  Somehow, sometime you will get something back. In fact, I bet you will get back exactly what you need, when you need it most.

So give a gift of a referral. It’s good for you. It’s good for me. And it’s good for all of us.

  • rona
    Posted at 05:58h, 23 August Reply

    Really enjoyed the littl bit of anthropology context for this and the spirit of this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Andrea Nierenberg
    Posted at 19:29h, 23 August Reply

    Love this article and I totally agree
    My wonderful father always said- “Give without remembering and receive without forgetting”/

    Excellent post!

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