A joculum thought for Counterforces
I have been thinking again about the tale regarding the man who showed up shabby-looking at a swank site, and then was treated shabbily by the staff. He tipped extravagantly on departure. Next visit, he was treated royally, and stiffed the staff on departure, remarking, “Last time, I rewarded you for this time. Now I am rewarding you for last time.”
It is not at all the same as Charles Williams’ Way of Exchange and certainly not like “paying it forward,” but it is good whenever a new way is found to disrupt the expectation of quid pro quo. Done rightly, the operation of exchange and preparation permits all parties to the transactions to observe the operations of their own lust, greed, pride, envy and what have you (gluttony, inertia and the seventh sin that I can never remember, but heedlessness or cluelessness makes a good substitute), and this is indisputably a good thing. For it is better to know when one previously did not know, and to understand in part in a way that one previously did not understand in part.