Monday, September 17, 2012


A man and a lady are purportedly in love. The lady visits the man, cooks for him and spends the weekend with his family. After a month or two, where both persons have not seen themselves, the man did not make the effort and sacrifice to call her or go himself to her house. The lady feels cheated and betrayed.

A housewife goes to the market. She haggles with a shoe seller for some sandals. After some minutes, she pays the seller the agreed amount. He wraps the sandal on a nylon bag and puts the nylon into her basket. When she gets home, she discovers that the seller placed the wrong sandal into her basket. She is angry and feels defrauded.

A farmer works hard on his farm. He tills, waters and finally, when the planting season arrives he plants some okra seeds on his farm. Half-way to the harvesting season, he goes to the farm and finds out that the seeds are sprouting with much offshoots. He has begun counting this season's profits. When harvesting time comes, the okra plant did not produce any fruit. All his hopes are dashed to the four winds.

The three scenarios above illustrate dashed hopes and aspirations: something hoped for did not materialize, the material benefit was forthcoming but on the way was cut short or even when the material benefits arrive, it was not what one expected.

They are examples of what I have come to call the exchange principle.

I have come to appreciate the exchange as a basic principle of life; an action begetting a reaction. But the scenarios above are exchanges that turned criminal or which exchange was not completed.

Everywhere around you, you see an exchange going on. A secret to enjoying and living life to the full is to understand life's principles, not only what you were taught or have read, but what you discover yourself. One of mine is the exchange principle. It is like the “no free lunch” dirge. For everything you get in this life, wittingly or unwittingly, you have to give something back. I have never found one case where this has failed except:

Whenever there is an agreement or contract between persons, which implies an exchange, when the exchange is not completed, something criminal has taken place. Either one of the parties of the exchange stole the thing gotten, i.e was really a criminal, or one of the parties is a powerful figure such that he can subdue other parties and take something from them without giving anything back.

I have never found a case where the exchange principle has failed without a crime being committed.

If you continually take things from people without giving something back, whether agreed upon or not, then you are unknowingly committing a crime.

The issue is this: Could you really be accused of committing a crime? At what point are you guilty, or be declared innocent, even when the exchange principle is not completed?

It would take me time and lots of years of observation to answer the above questions, but one day, that issue will be solved.

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