As a member of many associations and groups over my ever-lengthening life (!) I’ve come upon the issue of parity more than once. It usually raises its head when one person in the group complains about “giving” more than “receiving” or accuses others in the group of “ripping off” what the person considers to be valuable that he or she is having to share.
This often comes up in networking groups, for instance, when someone feels that they “give” more contacts, resources, information, and leads than others in the group – and it usually arises from a feeling of lack and smallness in the very person who believes she (or he) is giving so generously “without receiving in equal measure.”
The truth is that parity can absolutely never be measured one for one. We don’t know what any one new person added to someone’s mailing list will bring or not bring to that list in terms of value. We can’t go down the road of thinking that way or the group becomes, eventually, a snarky little group whose members all believe that they are of greater value to the group as a whole than the other members. We don’t know this, and once we begin to buy into that belief and philosophy it goes against the universal laws of abundance, openness, and love. One – even one – new person who is added to my list may be a “connector” – a person who forwards my offerings to so many people that that one person is solely responsible for 20 or 30 other new people to my list. And on the other hand, I may get 25 people from someone else who has a huge list but has on it a ton of people who never purchase a single thing. We never know. We cannot honestly nor from a basis of collaboration and abundance judge the value of any one person or any one “collaborative” effort. Entrepreneurs who begin to think and speak and act from that place go down a misguided path. The trouble with that path is that it begins to poison the well that we all drink from. It comes from a ground of scarcity, not abundance. It comes from a ground of fear, not love.
Sometimes the smallest, most quiet person has the longest arm and deepest reach. In my massage clinic I have a “customer” who has never been on my table at all and yet over the past eight years she has referred over twenty people to Touch Therapy Center, and they, in turn, have referred more. That’s just one example of how inexpert and rash it is to judge that we are giving or receiving “more or less” than someone else we have contact with. It’s a great example of the complete unreality of the issue of parity. We just never know where even one person will lead. Sometimes quieter people have much more depth and value than we may think. To start judging that “I give more than you give” is scared, small-minded, contracted, selfish – all lesser energies that do not lead to openness and abundance. Think about the ramifications downstream before you get up in arms about parity and buy into the belief that you give more than you receive.
(c) Sue Painter