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  • Reverend James Squire

Let’s Be Aware Of The Quo

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

Part 1

During my years of taking Latin which is a course that I loved, I knew that it was helping me with English grammar and definitions of words for there are strict grammar rules in Latin and many root words in the English language are based in that ancient language. But its importance seemed to stop there until now.

Then a Latin phrase, Quid Pro Quo seemed to dominate political discussion during President Trump’s Impeachment Trial. The phrase literally means “I will do this for you if you will do something for me.” It was an integral part of national conversation. Who knew that I would be hearing so much Latin in our national discussions?

Our relationships with others have become more transactional in nature. There is a school of counseling that I studied that is even called transactional analysis. That is a different way of looking at “I will do this for you if you do something for me.”

Think about how much you and I do this in our relationships. I think that the ultimate form of relationships doesn’t have the “Quo” when we act and expect nothing in return. “No strings attached.” How often is that how our relationships work? I would suggest that you and I do more to promote “no strings attached” as our culture is full of transactions.

Let’s take a look at our prayer life whatever your religious orientation. I find myself praying to God with the transactional approach usually in times of great trouble.

I bargain. Lord God, if you just would do this one thing for me, I promise that I will…

There is that phrase in our culture that “there are no atheists in foxholes”. Since gratitude shapes our prayers and actions in the strongest way, let’s pay more attention to our prayers that begin with “thank you”. For that matter let’s increase those “thank you(s)” in our daily conversations. I think that it would make a great difference for the better in our daily life. Remember when your mother taught you to “always say please and thank you”. She knew what she was talking about.

Quid Pro Quo was the foundation of evolutionary biology where cooperation was needed to survive. Our whole nature of evolving couldn’t have occurred with only “survival of the fittest”.

Part 2

The Death of George Lloyd Contrasted with Denzel Washington’s Interaction

There is one a place where “Quid Pro Quo” helps us in extraordinary ways; it is the basis of many moral codes. “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”. This is a form of a transaction and one that is needed in our nation at the moment more than ever. Equality for all is our goal; however, that has to go to hand in hand with how we treat one another. I would call this a sacred transaction. Who could say that George Floyd was being treated the way that the police officer would like to be treated. Who would like to have someone kneeling on our neck after we are thrown to the ground and have our friends just look and do nothing? I bet that never crossed their mind. That is a major part of the problem for how different that arrest would have been if honoring Mr. Llyod would be their first inclination and not a distant thought.

If you think this is naïve, watch the video and Denzel Washington’s interactions in an arrest, and you will see how it should be done. It is a sacred transaction.


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