15 Comments
Dec 15, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

This was poignant, beautiful and the best thing I've read all day!

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Dec 15, 2022Β·edited Dec 15, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

What a fantastic essay, Michelle. I love your voice - I can actually kind of hear you reading it in my head because I'm quite the voice in my head reader - and I admire the way you set up, explain and then gently but sharply take apart "manufactured reciprocity."

I echo your sense that WOP challenges theories of reciprocity, and I was happily testing out the theory (in my head) that people don't always function on reciprocity - as some cooperation theorists seem to argue.

But I'd never thought it about it in this way - that sometimes we imagine that reciprocity is possible in situations where it isn't, cannot or shouldn't be a factor. Worse still, we then see everything through the lens of reciprocity in those imagined situations. Giving without expectation can fuel more of that kind of giving without expectation - which is an organic and elevated reciprocity itself.

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Dec 17, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

YES GENEROSITY.

Looking at the photo, and your aunt looks like such a joyous spirit! Everyone's smiling happy faces makes me smile. The warmth. 😌

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Dec 16, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Heartwarming article Michelle 😌

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This was such a wonderful read on so many levels. The immigrant-helping-immigrant is the underpinning of creating a new life in a new country. It is an experience you never forget and believe in paying forward.

Thank you. For also leaning into the feeling of generosity that makes community such a wonderful place to be. "

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Dec 15, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Your story is such a perfect metaphor for the creator reciprocity we're all experiencing in Write of Passage. I also like the unspoken question you raise about whether reciprocity has to be tracked or managed, or whether if we just give of ourselves generously that everything will work out for everyone. So it's a question I am posing to myself, almost as a challenge, "what if there is a natural and universal web of reciprocity that we are all held within and all we have to do it participate freely, not worrying about where and to whom we give or from what direction it might come back to us?" That sounds like a blessed existence! I'm intrigued to lean into the experiment. Thanks!

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Dec 15, 2022Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Aww, what a sweet read. I really love your Aunt's story. Its very unique and inspiring. And the fac t that you derived a lesson from it. Loved reading the essay and your journey of giving.

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