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Reward v. Bribe

April 1, 2010

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?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 6:25 am

    Hey Amanda!

    Hmmm… except for the last paragraph, I have come up with my own, suit tailored solution when it comes to give and get. I tend to give when it comes to all kinds of stuff and mostly don’t need/want anything back, I live on the happiness on the face of the others, yes! (it really depends on who gives what, different persons/moments, different degrees of givetakereturnthefavor) Part of my solution is that I am happier when I am not grudging about stuff like: “They gave me nothing for my birthday like five years back soooo Imma not give them anything FOREVA!” I like to see the giving in a singular effect, it adds to a nicer string of moments when I think about what I got and look back at the situation.

    Also, I buy ALOT of the stuff I want myself, you could call that a different kind of eager I guess. I want all that CANDY!

    When I receive good things, I am overwhelmed with happy jumps and all. And I wanna give that feeling back by showing it, sometimes when the giving is overtly awesome – in most cases with friends like mine – I wanna give back some kind of treat, whatever that is.

    On the last paragraph… I need to bribe myself with stuff to finish other things recently, I won’t go into detail, I has my tenses sides too ya know.

    So, good one there, that bribe and reward thing has been swirling around with me too! Uhm, I kinda wrote MUCH. Sorry I’m such a comment bogarter.

  2. April 2, 2010 6:26 am

    You could have me do anything with that as a bribe! THAT ICING!!!!!

  3. foodandpassion permalink
    April 6, 2010 9:03 am

    The give and take thing I believe gets most uncomfortable over a drink, a coffee, a meal… a string of backs and forths with a friend who one sees on a regular basis. Last night I wanted to take my friend out for a drink as a thank you gesture, we have been in the pendulum of his turn-my turn for weeks, and he had forgotten it was my turn… he is so lovely and well brought up, and generous, that he just automatically reaches for the bill. I find it gets uncomfortable at that point because I want to show him some generosity and I also want to accept his gifts openly and freely without strings attached, so what to do? It is rude to say “I don’t want you to buy me a drink. I don’t want you to treat me like a lady. I don’t want your money.” But, what is the best way to proceed? I merely get flustered and remind him that it’s “My turn,” and gently push his wallet wielding hand away and off the table. Correct, incorrect? Etiquette expert, please tell how to proceed.

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