Magnanimous Donation Leads to Speculations



By Bobette Gorden

Recently in Spokane, a single gift of two diamond rings and one sapphire ring were wrapped in a dollar bill and dropped in a Salvation Army kettle anonymously. One of the diamond rings alone was assessed to be valued between $2,000 and $5,000. This was a VERY generous donation. 

The Salvation Army helps many people in many different ways. Most often, we see these bell-ringers at Christmas time outside of grocery stores, drugstores and malls. I often see people donate dollar bills as they pass by. And every dollar is appreciated. The level of this Spokane anonymous donation was stunning by comparison. 

Who would have made this donation? And why? Some are saying that the person who doanted these rings did so to support the community.  That might be so, but those of us who are familiar with the Rule for Reciprocity will identify an additional and powerful motivator when reading the note the donor subsequently wrote.   It’s particularly satisfying to see this demonstration of the Rule for Reciprocity; especially because it is another example of how the need to reciprocate can last over many years.  Just as interesting is that the Salvation Army had never helped this donor personally, but years prior had helped the donor’s father.

For more interesting details read this article.

Questions For Discussion:

Do you know any examples of a favor or gift that was repaid long after the favor or gift was initially given?         

Have you ever felt obligated to repay a debt that someone close to you had incurred?

What has this Rule for Reciprocity ever made you do that you wouldn’t have otherwise done?

Please see/add comments below.

  • Marnie Herrmann

    Every year, my mother gives $100 to someone – almost always a stranger – who she thinks could use a little help. She does so anonymously, and even though she is of modest means herself. Someone surprised her with $100 years ago when she was in great financial need; and she never knew who her benefactor was. She takes great joy in the giving this “secret” gift every year.

  • Kathy

    There was a time in my life when I couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money going out to eat and entertainment. I had a friend who had a nice lifestyle and she was always generous and paid for me many times. I always felt like I wanted to pay her back, but didn’t have the funds to do so. Well, a few years later, the tables turned and I had a much higher income and she was going through a financial downturn. I finally had the opportunity to return the generosity. Additionally, I have a very good friend who is going through a tough financial time, and I treat her to lunch and pay for other things often because I reflect on how my other friend had treated me.

  • Venezuelan lady says:

    Grateful peope like you.. is what we need on this planet.
    The world would be beautiful!!

  • Megan

    Wonderful theme for a post, the giving of one’s time and money to help others is always a wonderful thing.
    I feel it necessary to point out, however, that the Salvation Army is a virulently homophobic organization that, rather then obey anti-discrimination laws, shuts down soup kitchens, among other reprehensible homophobic activities.
    The person who made the incredibly generous donation probably had the very best of intentions, and should be lauded for doing so – but I think it’s important to know where your money is going when you give it to a charity.
    I think personally, that the rule of reciprocity comes up a lot n family. My parents have always been supportive of me, in all ways, and as I get older and more settled in the world and they approach retirement, I finally have the opportunity to help them, which feels wonderful.

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