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Doing Good Deeds Without Expecting Anything in Return

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People are usually good by nature. They want to do good things; they want to help other people whenever they can. Some will even go beyond their means to help someone in need if they've been deeply touched by the circumstances of the needy one. However all too often we crave recognition for the good we're doing and that's when we get sidetracked.

good deed

Every week I do the shopping for my old neighbour; it has become a habit now. Sometimes it feels like I've taken such a huge responsibility although I do their shopping while I'm doing mine, so I'm not even going out of my way. I know I'm doing a good thing and they always thank me for the favour I'm doing them. Yet, sometimes I feel I don't get as much appreciation as I should. I would love to have more people come to me and tell me it is a great thing I'm doing to help my old neighbour. I would love if more people were watching me help an old couple even if they don't praise me. I would love to know there are more people who consider me a good person than I currently know about.

Expectations for the self will tarnish the goodness of your actions

You see ego is a dangerous thing; it can overwhelm you to the point where you're blinded by selfishness. When doing good deeds, you shouldn't be thinking about what you're going to get in return. The moment you put an expectation to a good deed, it ruins the beauty of it. It's not the same anymore, it's been stained with selfish motives. It's not a good thing anymore, it's a disguise to a benefit you want to reap afterwards. You don't want that, it's impure!

When you do good, you need to have sincerity in your heart. You have to be honest with yourself. You need to be thinking genuinely about helping that other person and not have any thoughts whatsoever about you at all. You put that needy person before you.

I've seen some people doing good things for others and although they don't hope much from their good action, they expect to have blessing instead. Expectations for the self destroys the goodness of an action. You may not want to get money or other tangible benefits from your good deed but wishing for blessing or recognition of what you've done is still expecting something in return and that's insincere.

A person was in financial difficulty and I heard someone who was helping them say:

"Take the money, you don't even need to return it to me but just remember me in your prayers".

That last bit ruined such a beautiful action. You don't need to ask for this, it will come automatically as a byproduct of your kindness.

All little good actions add up to even bigger ones

It's not about how big the favour was, it can be the smallest thing ever. Someone may be donating thousands of pounds to charity but is doing this just because it is regarded as a good deed. He may not care, he just does it without any thought, without any meaning, without understanding the purpose of good. Of course, the money is going to help the charity and he may get the blessing of many as well but you need to be aware of your actions. You need to do things through your own will, not through any compulsion of any sort. Awareness is necessary, so know your WHY in the things you do.

Think about that woman who was crossing the road and fell because her heel broke and you helped her get up. Think about that old man in the line behind you in the supermarket who you let pass first. Think about that pregnant woman on the train who you offered your seat. It's all those little things which add up at the end of the day.

Whenever you're doing something, no matter how small or unimportant it may seem, and not thinking what you're going to get in return, that's when good deeds happen. People may not have noticed what you've done, people may not compliment you for it but the good has been done. That's when the blessing you didn't ask for is bestowed upon you. That's when the good amplifies and comes back to you. Let the sincerity of your actions speak for themselves, you don't need validation from others.

So tell me, what good have you done that people don't know about and how did that make you feel?

gices Published 25 Dec 2013
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.
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sarah_7 30 Oct 2019

when you are too good, people will try to abuse your kindness

gices 30 Oct 2019

That's unfortunately true but it shouldn't stop you from doing good.

A quote from Mother Theresa comes to mind

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

The difficulty is to retain goodness in your heart when everything outside seems to sway you otherwise. That's your test anyway.

sarah_7 31 Oct 2019

at the end of the day it's tiring. maybe that's why i prefer to stay alone

believer 30 Dec 2013

I guess people are selfish, that's why they are always hoping for some kind of reward when they're practising good onto others.