When two rats fight it’s not always the biggest rat that wins. The biggest rat could win pretty much 100 percent of the time, if it wanted to. But that doesn’t happen. If the bigger rat chooses to win all the fights, then there will be no more playing. This fighting is a form of playing.

The bigger rat needs to let the smaller rat win at least 30 percent of the time.

It’s the smaller rat that asks the bigger rat for a fight or a match.

If it doesn’t win at least 3 out of 10 matches, it will stop asking for matches. So the fun is over for both of them.

Isn’t that amazing?

Rats keep score. They are wired for some degree of fairness. We are talking about rats.

If this is true for rats, shouldn’t it be so much more true for human beings?

Shouldn’t we be guided by fairness and reciprocity?

In my own personal experience only close family members will treat you this fairly. Most other people are just takers, they want to get more out of the interaction than you are getting. They don’t care that this very quickly ends the interaction, they are fine with a very close circle of trusted friends, the rest of humanity can go to hell. At least that’s my experience and I always have to keep my own generosity and friendliness in check, because I will inevitably be taken advantage of.

I am afraid rats outperform us when it comes to fairness and reciprocity.

I got this information from listening to lectures by Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

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