There is an economy to relationships, a form of capitalism in dating or friendships. In business, there was once a time when your name and reputation were intimately connected to your service or your product. Even if the product was good, if you were a scoundrel, people would make their purchases elsewhere. A businessman cared about his customers and whether they were satisfied, because if was a reflection on him as a person. It attached to his sense of honor and earned him reputation, influence, respect in his community and maybe, eventually power. Earned is the operative word. He got something in return for his hard, honest efforts towards making a decent product and attending to his clientele.
Somewhere along the way, it was all reduced to trying to get as much as possible while doing as little as necessary. Use cheaper grade components, out source the labor, use cheaper labor, automate it. Flood the market with a butt load of crap and the people will buy it. And they buy because they are now trained to consume MORE instead of looking for true quality and buy what is necessary.
I think relationships are very similar, whether family, friends or lovers, people now invest as little as possible yet expect tremendous gains and “earnings”. The whole definition of earnings is the outcome of effort put into something. There is usually a proportionate response. Certainly, there is no law in physics that will give an outcome of energy, mass or force that requires ZERO input. It defies natural law. If you want a fulfilling, deep meaningful trusting relationship with another person or in your work environment, then both parties must commit. I cannot expect an employee to do top notch work if I refuse to pay them. I cannot expect a child to endeavor to perform well at school if I do not acknowledge effort and offer praise. Likewise, they need constructive criticism to improve their outcomes. In the intimate space, one cannot expect love or honor if he is absent or silent or disengaged. If I want a rich and fulfilling connection to another person, I must be willing to pour myself into that space BUT at some point their is a reasonable outcome. Plus, the product truly requires the other people in the relationship to pour in an equal measure. What each person brings can be very different, but the EFFORT should be comparable. A disparity in effort is the seed of discontent and the origin of all disgruntled labor disputes. Eventually, one side walks away, strikes and refuses participation until a common ground or compromise is reached.
Sometimes, economies collapse. The economic downfall takes time to recover and may never be as it once was. Sometimes, in retrospect, a society changes and grows, becoming stronger because of the hardship and the loss. The Greatest Generation was born from the Great Depression. I wonder what will be the outcome of our current “economy”.