A human being is a storytelling machine. The self is a story.
—Paul Brooks, “The Space Between”
Word of the Day
to give and take mutually
to return in kind or degree
to make a return for something done or given
to move backward and forward alternately
Reciprocate, retaliate, requite, and return all mean “to give back,” usually in kind or in quantity. Reciprocate implies a mutual or equivalent exchange or a paying back of what one has received (“We reciprocated their hospitality by inviting them to our beach house”). Retaliate usually implies a paying back of an injury or offense in exact kind, often vengefully (“She retaliated by spreading equally nasty rumors about them”). Requite implies a paying back according to one’s preference, and often not in an equivalent fashion (“He requited her love with cold indifference”). Return implies simply a paying or giving back (“returned their call” or “return good for evil”).
It was kind of Jake to give us a ride to the airport, and we’d like to find a way to reciprocate the favor.
“The covenant only works if each partner, as best as possible, puts the other’s needs above his or her own, with the understanding that the other will reciprocate.”
— David Brooks, The New York Times, 7 Mar. 2017
I know of a cure for everything: salt water…in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.
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