huge synapse/grok with this word while reading sacred economics by Charles Eisenstein.. (he says receiving a gift is essential.. because then we feel obligated to give back..)

thinking that this thinking is the (or a potential) huge elephant/flag in the room.. because it sounds so humane/ethical/moral. how could pay it forward ness no be the most incredible mindset?

but perhaps.. on closer (or farther away) analysis.. we find it could be the very thing keeping us from us. an in cognito carrot/stick/raised-eyebrow – as it were. so it may improve things for a bit.. make us all feel better.. but at the end of the day.. esp one with no extrinsic motivation (like guilt) to keep us obliged.. it won’t be helpful/sustainable/better..

i think two things come into play here..

1. life is a gift. no one earned it. no one earned themselves into being born.

2. how we live our life is a choice. you will be the best ongoing you, to dance with the world, if you make your choices everyday.. from your gut.

gratitude needs to come from #1 alone.. if it’s dependent on situational obligations/interactions.. that seems more like a keeping score..and a reaction.. rather than a life embedded in gratitude.. simply for being alive.

it seems we need to choose gratitude… everyday. if it becomes habit.. not only do we become less sincere.. we miss (mess with) the emergence of a better us.

ie: we need you/me on our toes everyday.. not slaving away to earn a living… not not breathing because we’re so busy.. but on our toes listening.. to our own gut.. to the gut of others.

hard to imagine that happening via obligation. (ie: the curious boy)

being set free.. and then choosing.. every day.. to serve/give.. that is sustainable..


obligation is not sustainable.

love is.

no strings.

no fear.


Salon (@Salon) tweeted at 4:45 AM – 24 Jun 2017 :

In my summer of minding other people’s children, I carefully studied their lives, which were nothing like my own https://t.co/QbH7wG42iu (http://twitter.com/Salon/status/878564642192318465?s=17)

The boy did not ask what my parents did because he was a child and had not yet learned the reciprocal requirement of the formally causal conversation of certain social classes. I found this aspect of children to be a comfort.


Mutaz Elnour (@MutazElnour) tweeted at 1:59 AM – 7 Apr 2018 :

The Daily Mail has a standard response to every outspoken black person: “Where is your gratitude?”

It’s subtle, but it’s there. This is how they disseminate their insidious racism into the consciousness of their readers. https://t.co/Lb84BoGxzG(http://twitter.com/MutazElnour/status/982528164227440640?s=17)

obligatory gratitude



If it’s an obligation, then you don’t have a choice.

Pretending you do is simply a way to create frustration. Free yourself to simply do what you have to do.

what you can’t not do

On the other hand, if you do have a choice (and you probably do) then it doesn’t make sense to treat it as an obligation. Own the choice.


finite set of choices


Jax (@mama_counting) tweeted at 5:26 AM on Thu, Jun 20, 2019:
A beautiful review of a book on the #history of #debt by @davidgraeber “Debt: the First 5,000 Years”

He situates debt as the quantification of promise and obligation and the threat of violence behind that calculation..t

obligation ness

bateson measuring as managing law


gift ness


thank you ness



marsh exchange law

red flags we’re doing it/life wrong

we have to get back to our undisturbed ecosystem