What Is the Law of Reciprocity?

Whenever I announce the release of a new short report on Amazon Kindle, I include this request for reviews:

“I need your help!!!

If, after reading it, this short report leaves you feeling like 5 stars, I’d really appreciate your returning the favor with a 5-star review on my Amazon page for it. It’ll help me, it’ll help others, and, through the law of reciprocity, it’ll help you as well.”

About which, I’m often asked?

“What exactly is the law of reciprocity?”

Rather than reinvent the wheel, to answer the question, I refer you to an article I wrote a while back and made publicly available, which I recently updated. This article goes a bit deeper than the common accepted use of the term.

Here it is:

The Universal Law Behind the Golden Rule

In Chapter 7 of the book of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as saying:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”

When Jesus made this statement, he wasn’t just teaching his followers a religious rule, he was teaching his followers the practical application of a universal law.

This universal law is known by many names:

  • The law of cause and effect …
  • The law of karma …
  • The law of reciprocity, and …
  • The law of sowing and reaping …

Are but a few of them.

In his writings, Wallace D. Wattles, who’s best known for his book The Science of Getting Rich, frequently referred to it as the law of action and reaction, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Odds are that you’ve heard this universal law expressed in many different ways:

  • Energy always returns to the source of its origination …
  • What goes around comes around …
  • What you do comes back to you …
  • You reap what you sow, and, my personal favorite …
  • It always comes back to bite you in the …

Well, you know the rest. 🙂

Regardless of how this universal law is expressed, the bottom line is that whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you.

And, more importantly, because it’s a law, whatever you put out into the universe always comes back to you.

This is the way the universe works.

When you look at it this way, it puts Jesus’ words in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Practicing the Golden Rule, as it’s come to be known as, isn’t just the moral thing to do, or the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do!

Why?

Simple, because it’s the law …

  • If you cheat others, you will be cheated.
  • If you hate others, you will be hated.
  • If you hurt others, you will be hurt.
  • If you judge others, you will be judged.
  • If you steal from others, you will be stolen from.
  • If you take advantage of others, you will be taken advantage of.
  • If you treat others rudely, you will be treated rudely.

On the other hand …

  • If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.
  • If you help others, you will be helped.
  • If you love others, you will be loved.
  • If you treat others fairly, you will be treated fairly.
  • If you treat others honestly, you will be treated honestly.
  • If you treat others kindly, you will be treated kindly.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Whatever you put out into the universe always comes back to you.

You can’t escape it. It’s the law!

Now, one thing that’s very important to understand, when Jesus said:

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.”

He wasn’t saying that because others, themselves, will “do unto you” what you have done unto them.

Jesus was saying that because the universe, God, or whatever you prefer to call the universal power behind all things, will “do unto you” what you have done unto others!

For example:

If you steal something from someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that particular person will steal something from you. However, you will be stolen from. It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when and how!

On the other hand …

If you treat someone honestly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that particular person will treat you honestly. However, you will be treated honestly. Again, it’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when and how!

Why?

Because it’s the law. It’s the way the universe works.

So, the next time you’re about to do something, anything, that involves other people, ask yourself this very simple question:

Would I want someone else doing this to me?

If your answer is yes, do it.

If your answer is no, don’t.

It’s that simple.

Remember, practicing the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you, or treating others as you’d like to be treated, isn’t just the moral thing to do, or the right thing to do …

It’s the smart thing to do!