My posts on favors got a lot of comments….so let’s explore some more territory.
I hate “sloppy” favors. These are those situations that – once you get into them – you discover that they are more quid pro quo than an act of kindness. Favors are “something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration.” But if your motive to do me a favor is to gain something in return…then it ceases to be a favor.
- It is not a favor to loan me your lawn-mower if you are using that as emotional permission to get access to my weed-eater
- It is not a favor to give me a compete financial assessment if you are using that as a platform to sell me your investments
- It is not a favor to give me a discount if it is conditioned upon signing a 2 year contract with your business
Give me some grace on this, but I’ll step out on a limb and say that is why I don’t like “fundraisers” for churches. Whenever a church (or other non-profit) has a bake-sale, car-wash, or sells magazines…we make it sound like the person is doing a favor for the organization by making a purchase. But the motives are not pure. There is an exchange of money for something received in return. Are you contributing to the cause, or are you purchasing a magazine? It’s not clear. It’s sloppy.
Corollary Thought: It is not a favor if the final result costs me rather than helps me. If you save me money but miss the deadline, you haven’t done me a favor.