You probably remember being told about doing one particular thing all throughout your childhood. I’m not talking about saying ‘please and thank you,’ or even making sure you ‘finish your vegetables’ what I’m talking about is doing the right thing. We were always taught that we should do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do. However, in this day and age it seems like we live in a Rumplestilskin kind of world, which begs the question: when did doing the right thing start coming at a price?
Whether it be at home or in the workplace, whether it be kids at school or grown adults in the real world it seems like people everywhere want compensation for simply doing the right thing.
If you think about when you’re at work, are there ever instances where you see people won’t simply do the right thing without saying ‘well I don’t get paid enough to do that’, ‘that’s not my job’, etc? I’m willing to bet almost anything you do. How about children at school or perhaps when they are taken places? It seems as though they won’t help a friend or classmates in need at school without someone seeing them doing it and therefore praising them for it. Whether they are taken to the store or even church they are told if they behave they will ‘get to pick a candy’. This tying rewards to such good deeds and just basic respectfulness towards their community and parents is not necessary.
Yet, it is a small price to pay for most Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, to bribe our youth but what ever happened to encouraging them to help those around them in need and being good when we take them places because they know it’s the right thing to do? Does every good deed really need a extrinsic reward?
My husband and I follow the motto at home of a no strings attached/ no scorekeeping mentality. Your spouse is supposed to be your teammate NOT your rival. In our home, we’ve established a long time ago that ‘if you’re going to throw the good things you do around the house in each other’s faces, don’t even bother doing it,’ but simply from observation among our friends, relatives and aquatints it seems like people don’t want to do good around the house without getting recognition from their significant other. Our attitudes and motives for doing good become arrogant, self-serving, and extrinsically driven. As mentioned before, if you’re just going to use your good deeds as ammunition, why even bother?
Furthermore, I think every single one of us knows someone or can think of a time where you did a favor for someone you know and remember that favor so you can get a favor out of them one day. Doing the right thing is suppose to be a good thing and bring positivity to those around you that you love and strangers alike, but holding onto the good you do and turning it into “what have you done for me lately,” is only doing the opposite and turning it into a negative. We’re teaching our youth it’s okay to nitpick who deserves our random acts of kindness and that all kindness comes with strings attached, an I.O.U if you will.
I remember learning in Sunday school growing up and even at home through my parents’ example the value of doing the right thing simply to help out a fellow human being. Random acts of kindness cause ripple affects of good karma and inspire others to do good too. The gentleman who bought my iced coffee for me in Wawa on a humid summer afternoon two years ago, inspired me to do the same for the woman behind me. The gentleman who bought me my iced coffee, (nor I ) expected anything in return. It was a good deed that made my day, simply because he wanted to be a good person. I, in turn, felt good buying someone else their coffee and making their day, no strings attached.
Today I’m issuing a challenge to my blog readers: do a random act of kindness WITHOUT expecting anything in return. Do it without a price and leave a comment below about HOW it made you feel.
Love you. Mean it.