How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity

How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation, and the Spirit of Reciprocity


Firstly what is altruism?


Such a great thing to say.  I had to learn how to live that saying though.  Just like I had to learn to live the 12 steps and altruism, I also had to learn to learn and apply the spirit of reciprocity.  What is the spirit of reciprocity? Why is learning How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity important?  Reciprocity is defined by Wikipedia as:

In social psychology, reciprocity is a social rule that says people should repay, in kind, what another person has provided for them;[1] that is, people give back (reciprocate) the kind of treatment they have received from another. By virtue of the rule of reciprocity, people are obligated to repay favors, gifts, invitations, etc. in the future. If someone receives a gift for their birthday, a reciprocal expectation may influence them to do the same on the gift-giver’s birthday. This sense of future obligation associated with reciprocity makes it possible to build continuing relationships and exchanges. Reciprocal actions of this nature are important to social psychology as they can help explain the maintenance of social norms.

A person who violates the reciprocity norm by accepting without attempting to return the good acts of others is disliked by the social group.[2] Individuals who benefit from the group’s resources without contributing any skills, helping, or resources of their own are called free riders. Both individuals and social groups often punish free riders, even when this punishment results in considerable costs to the group.[3] Therefore, it is unsurprising that individuals will go to great lengths to avoid being seen as a moocher, freeloader, or ingrate.[1]

Reciprocal actions differ from altruistic actions in that reciprocal actions only follow from others’ initial actions, while altruism is the act of social gift-giving without hope or expectation of future positive responses.[4][5] Some distinguish between ideal altruism (giving with no expectation of future reward) and reciprocal altruism (giving with expectation of future reward). For more information on this idea, see altruism or altruism (ethics).

2nd point on How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity allows us to receive as a result of what we give or do.  We may receive the same thing we give, such as compassion or forgiveness.  Normally, however, we receive to the same degree we give. For example, if we sow more seed, we get a larger harvest or we will receive from others in proportion to our giving.


So, as a youngster I was raised with value of reciprocity taught to me through our church.  While being made to do it, it did not come naturally, but it did become a habit before I truly realized it’s value.  When I got into drugs, I shifted dramatically.  I began to be self-centered and self-consumed and I shifted to

“What can I get?” rather than “What can I give?” mentality.

When I came to recovery, those who had gone before me had strongly suggested I get into service ASAP.  I did what I was told as I was done with my former way of being and willing to do whatever it took without reservation.  I didn’t realize till later the value of this spiritual practice.

First and foremost this spirit got me out myself.  The clean drug a person can have. I got all the benefits of being happy joyous free and fulfilled by being in service to others.  Amazing, and no hangover the next day and certainly no resources were spent to be that way.  Great love it.


3rd Point on How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity

The spirit of reciprocity enabled me to store up a place for myself in recovery later.  If I were to go into hard times down the road where I may feel like using, I have put myself in the center of recovery.  Recovery is sometimes spoken of as a carousel in a playground.  If I am at the edge of the carousel when it is being spun around, then the centrifugal force of the movement can send me flying off into using easily, but if I am in the center of the carousel in recovery, then the gravitational pull is minimized and I stand a strong chance of survival.  Risky behaviors generate risky results.  This is why it is important to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity.


The third thing the spirit of reciprocity does for us is gives us the means to receive.  Universal laws that tell us we need to give freely to receive.  This is where altruism comes in.  Altruism is where we give from a place of selflessness.  For example:  One time I had a business and I took all my staff down to help out with the flood relief in Calgary.  I saw it as a great opportunity to plug my business and I recorded all kinds of videos for You Tube.  This was me not acting in integrity.  This no longer was me acting selflessly, but me acting from lower self worth.  Me needing praise and accolades for my efforts. Also it was for secondary gain, to promote and make the business more successful, which in turn lined my pockets with money.  “Look at how great I am, helping those less fortunate.” Ugh.  With true altruistic behaviors we will receive all the abundance of our dreams. 

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.

So when I first got to recovery I still had the attitude of “What can this meeting and the people in it do for me?”  After some time it shifted into: “What can do for these people?”


At we follow the ancient ways of the medicine wheel for our teachings and guidance.

We are in in the direction of North at Solstice.

Solstice is the time of dark.  Reflection.


Spirit sits in the North.

The spirits of others that are hurting at this time, our spirit that regenerated by giving, The spirits of others that feel taken care of by our giving.


Ancestors in the North

The elders of times gone by who watch over us from the realms.  Are we making them proud?


Gratitude in the North

When we feel feel the attitude of gratitude we tend be much more giving and things attract to us to be given.


Earth in the North

Our Earth Mother is always giving to us.  Are we taking this for granted?  How can we give back either to this Earth directly or to those who dwell upon it?


Tree Nation In the North

The tree nation sits in the North giving us air to breath, shelter, shade and so much more.  How can we honor the tree nation at this time?


Plant Nation sits in the North of Lovemedicine’s Medicine Wheel

What have the plants done for you lately?  Fed you?  Fed the animals you ate?  Is there someone you can reciprocate with?  Some have said that: “There is no greater gift than to break bread with another”


Ancient Plant Wisdom Carriers sit in the North

The plants have wisdom.  Have you heard their call?  What might they have said to you in the stillness.

The old medicine men of ancient times (Still practiced today) would come to a village and they would bring their medicines.  If there was a single Mom, or an elderly person maybe a disabled one, the rest of the village would pitch in to get them their medicine through whatever kind of currency or barter exchange they had at the time.  This enabled them to garner respect from their peers and trust and everyone gave to everyone else as they knew they were all one unit.  If a person was down for whatever reason the rest would step up to fill in the blanks.  They understood and lived the spirit of reciprocity, and everyone flourished because of it.

4th Point How to Apply Altruism, Manifestation and the Spirit of Reciprocity

In this system that is governed by corporations and bankers, we are taught to live for ourselves to get,,,what we can, because the only one looking out for us is ourselves.  The media would have us believe that we that need the new mascara or new car rather than helping out our elderly neighbor.  It is a sickness that pervaded into virtually every nook and cranny of society.  Especially around cities where it is already so expensive to live, and many work 3 jobs and live like paupers just to stay afloat.  “How can I be of service in a case like that?”  Some may ask.


If you are invited to a Christmas dinner, I hope you will respect the place you are invited by giving back, either to the household or to others or both.  I hope you can find the immense pleasure it is to help out.  If your home group throws a potluck, I hope you get the blessing of bringing something.  The benefits of service give so much more back to us than we can ever take.

Perhaps you can find your way to feeding the homeless this season or volunteering at a shelter.  My experience was that I was harming myself in deep ways by being a taker.


Yes life can be difficult.  An attitude of “I deserve,” got me into trouble.  It was the beginning of my self centered thinking that would creep in and take over my life and send me right back out using.  Then the strong chance of becoming a homeless person myself.


So, this season, I hope you will find it in yourself to dig deep into your heart and ask for ways to give.  I wish you the happiest and joyous season this years and many more to follow.

More info about medicine wheel and what it offers, and other recovery offerings are at our sister site Lovemedicine..





Many Blessings to you as you trudge the road of happy destiny.

Vince Wishart

Creator of the “Intentional Tattoo”