The Principle of Mutuality is a universal principle that says that every interaction we have with another is based on mutual agreement. By this, we mean that the interaction must be fair and beneficial to both parties. Only in this way can the interaction become truly meaningful and healthy.
The acceptance of this principle is implied in every relationship. Problems arise when this principle is violated. Violation can be at the conscious level or the unconscious level.
Taking What is not Given
At the conscious level, we violate this principle each time we consciously intent and act to take from others what is not given. This includes the taking of intangible as well as tangible things. Tangible things are things like properties, belongings, money and even this body. Intangibles are things like life, rights, space, time, self esteem, choices, values and trust. Avoiding taking tangible things from others without their explicit permissions is easier as it requires coarser awareness. Avoiding taking intangible things from others, on the other hand, requires more awareness and attention on our part.
We also often violates the principle of mutuality in an unconscious way. By this I mean that we are not fully aware of having violated this principle. Perhaps we did not have the conscious intention to take what is not given to us but due to our lack of self awareness, we nevertheless violated it. To prevent this unconscious violation requires a much higher level of self awareness from us. It requires courageous introspection and the examination of our habitual mental tendencies. Only then can we eliminate this unintentional violation of the principle of mutuality.
Giving Away our Power
Another source of problems with this principle is when we ourselves give away our power to the other party. Most often, we do this unconsciously and unintentionally. When we do not know how to be assertive with our rights, we dis-empower ourselves. When we do not even know our own rights, we do not know what we have given away. Thus, knowing our rights and being assertive are two essential elements to empowering ourselves. Knowledge is required for the former and courage for the latter.
Two to Tango?
The principle of mutuality is a spiritual principle that governs relationships. When adhered to, it can bring forth spiritually fulfilling encounters and outcomes for everyone in the relationships. This is the ideal spiritual relationship. It is a win-win and is conducive to growth and personal transformation.
Although every relationship involves two or more parties, it does not mean that if the other party chooses to violate this principle, you on your own cannot adhere to it. In fact, irregardless of whether the other party is aware of or adhere to this principle of mutuality or not, you can continue to live in accordance with it.
The Right Attitude
All it needs to succeed with this principle is to have the right attitude. What is the right attitude? When interacting with another, ask yourself “How can I make this interaction beneficial, meaningful and fulfilling to all concerned?”
I see this approach working out very well in my work as a general practitioner. As soon as a patient walked into my consultation room, I ask myself “How can I make this encounter a wonderful experience for him/her?” Most people are already quite apprehensive when they see a doctor, so simply by being warm and friendly, and making them feel at ease begins the process of healing for them.
I believe this approach is suitable for all types of interactions, including personal, social and business, and strongly encourage that you give it a try. You would be amazed at the results.