Friday, 22 July 2011

Doing Good for the Good of it!

In Oprah’s final season, she often spoke of “The things I know for sure”.  One thing I know for sure is that doing good never feels bad.  At least it never has for me.  A simple “hello, how are you?” to a grumpy sales clerk, giving up a seat on public transit, donating to a meaningful charity, sending a handwritten note to a troubled friend, offering a stranger change when they’re short – all things that can produce a sense of gratitude in the receiver, and an uplifted spirit in the sender.
I love the power of the “pay it forward concept” – the ripple of good deeds and generosity that widens from one simple act of kindness.  Every action has an equal or more intense reaction – good produces more good.  Being kind brings out kindness.  It’s as simple as that and the world needs more of it.
The thing that irks me, however, is when people do good for selfish, underlying purposes – an image boost, publicity stunt, profit surge or tax break, for instance.   “Appearing good” and doing good are not one in the same.  I believe the truest revelation of one’s character is how they behave behind closed doors - when no one’s watching.  Good deeds, kind acts and generosity should evolve from a place of good intention – the intentions of love, kindness, compassion – not self-interest.
What’s one good deed you’ve done lately that’s uplifted your spirit?  Have you experienced a random act of kindness?

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