Reward v. Bribe
Rewards, like pride, are fraught.
Would you do the thing anyway, happily and without being told to, even if the carrot wasn’t dangling from the string?
Is it wrong to want something in return for another thing?
How easily do you accept something when nothing is expected in return? How easily do you fold your hands and agree, “ok, you may simply give me that thing, and I will thank you, and not feel weird that I am not returning the favour or repaying the compliment?”
Were your childhood birthdays occasions when you didn’t have to share? Was the day all about you? Did you take advantage, or still behave like always, guided by rules that spilled over from the other 364 days?
Do you divide your adult days into quadrants: pre-coffee; post-coffee; the thing you must do before you can take a break; a midday treat in the form of a lazy half-hour, a pastry, ignoring the telephone when it rings?
How is a reward distinguished from a bribe?