Letter to the Editor

Quid pro quo

Monday, November 11, 2019

I don't know about you, but "quid pro quo" has never been a household term in my world. These days, however, it is bantered about frequently, and mostly in a pejorative manner. Near as I can tell, the term involves such things as an exchange, a trade off, or reciprocity. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. Cub Foods comes to mind: we'll sell you various food items at lower than retail, and in return, you help us by running the cash register, stocking the shelves so many hours per week/month. Not a new concept (skin in the game), but one involving win/win.

When you get down to it, other than unconditional love, isn't life a matter of "quid pro quo"? The only altruist is God almighty. He created us out of love, and loves us unconditionally. He does expect us to act in a certain manner: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." That also involves free will and the consequences that go with it. Some would say that too is a quid pro quo.

It seems like no stretch to consider this country's foreign policy a prime example of quid pro quo. The United States provides billions in foreign aid, with the expectation that the recipient will promote/respect human rights, act in a peaceful way toward visiting Americans, and employ fair trade practices. Were the benefitting country to renege, you can bet the aid would diminish or vanish. Quid pro quo what is all the fuss? It's the way of the world, and has been with us for centuries.

Bill Kersting, Spencer