Friday, March 5, 2010

Are we really rewarded for our good deeds?

That is what I was taught. That if I did good deeds, I would be rewarded. Really? Is it worth it do be a good person? Sometimes I feel it isn't. Is being an out-standing person enjoyable? Honestly, sometimes I believe it isn't. I try to be a good person. Holding doors, saying thank you, greeting people with a smile, genuinely asking a person about their day, doing favors, going 'out-of-the-way', not asking too much help from others, being polite, being friendly....blah blah blah. When you do these things on a constant basis and receive no type of reciprocation, it becomes disheartening. You WANT something in return. You wonder if anyone really sees your effort.

Guess what? They do. This past week demonstrated that to me. I was really second-guessing my pursuit of being a "good-person". Bleh! It took too much work. I was tired of putting so much time, effort, and compassion towards others just to receive lukewarm results. However, what I realized was that I WAS being rewarded. However, I was being rewarded subtly, not in the ways that I thought of. A hug from a thankful roommate and friend was a reward. Their sincere words of thanks was a reward. A compliment from a stranger was a reward. An uplifting and ridiculously humorous conversation between good friends (almost like family) was a reward.

And when I put it in that perspective, I have been rewarded ten fold this week. Lesson learned? I shouldn't expect the extraordinary from individuals, nothing grand. That way of thinking is too pompous, too selfish. And compliments should not be the motivation of a good deed. But when least expected, be expected to be rewarded for being a good person.

There are many of us out there. And I would like to give my thanks to all of you. Please continue to brighten the day with your smiles and your demeanor. Don't give up. Don't become bitter. I love you.


  1. Dali, I've totally been on that strain before. You are right, it totally is worth it do be a good person. As human beings I think we crave reward. You and I both know however, it isn't about the reward. I find that sometimes I have to be perverse to get through negativity(I know that sounds weird). Are we going to be rewarded on earth or elsewhere? That is really the question. A lack of reciprocation can leave us all bitter, most days I get more dirty looks than smiles, for saying hello, holding a door, or even giving a real care about a conversation... I've since changed my paradigm to see happiness and joy as something that counts 10x as much as the opposite. I don't think it is a point of self-righteousness eaither, though it can be viewed as such, it is that we have to laugh and cry with everyone else and at the end let our spirit hold it's own against the current. We have a right, nay... a responsibility to ourselves. Love ya kid.

  2. So what have we learned from this?
    Perhaps the fact that Newtonian mechanics hold no place in our day to day life..?.. Proving that for every action (whether out of your way, nice, etc), there is not an equal or opposite reaction...

    You know, I've found that the more hope we place in individuals (which in this case would be for that reciprocal act of kindness), only leads us to realize how unideal and dystopic the world is..

    But with all this said, I can't say that I get discouraged at all when my actions aren't in a sense rewarded by those of others..

    In the end, I get great sleep knowing that I tried to brighten the days of others..
    That my friend, is all I need..

    - Fabrice