Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Do good

Have you ever stopped to consider the motivation for what you do?

Busy people know that in order to get through all the tasks set before us, it is sometimes necessary to just function on auto-pilot, but to do this for any but a controlled length of time leaves the door wide open to the possibility that the do-gooder will eventually fall victim to his-her own desire to do, and forget how to be.

The true philanthropist does good work simply with the aim of making someone else happy. There's an immeasurable amount of reward in the doing if the aim is to truly make a difference in someone's life (usually someone other than oneself). Could it be that truth be known, it happens at least on occasion that people do good so that they themselves will somehow be assuaged from the guilt of too much success, or too much abundance? The problem with this attitude is that no matter how much good we do, guilt is never completely expunged.

By contrast, goodness breeds goodness, so acts of kindness which are motivated by love and genuine concern are infectious and often lead the beneficiaries of benevolence to themselves do small acts of kindness. The old saying holds true, 'tis better to light one candle than to curse the darkness'.

Where is there darkness in our lives today? Are there opportunities for us to spread even a little light in such places, bringing joy to the sorrowful and hope to the despairing? Every little bit counts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was talking with an acquaintance this afternoon. She is going through a tough time but her thoughts were, "When I get through this, I'll be able to help others get through it because I'll know how they feel." She is already generous in heart even while she is struggling. Now that's a gift!