No matter where we are or what we do, we normally expect rewards for our actions. If we get good grades in school, we expect our parents to praise us. If we do good at work, we expect a promotion. If we help a friend in a tricky situation, we expect them to do the same for us when we stumble upon an obstacle.
The sad thing is that we rarely do good things just because we would like to do good. We do good, because we expect it to return to us.
Doesn’t that make us selfish?
When an old neighbour asks you to help them pick the groceries, do you help them in order to do good or because you expect them to somehow pay you back?
When a teacher asks you a favor, do you do it because you want to do good or because they will owe you one?
Life taught us to expect rewards. I’ve said it in the beginning of the post – we indeed get rewarded for hard work. Thankfully. But the problem is that when we get a reward, we start taking it for granted. One single reward suddenly isn’t enough and we teach ourselves that people always have to pay us back when we do good. And that’s a mistake.
I believe life will “repay” us if we do good, one way or another. It is simply selfish of us to count how many times did we a) hold the door for somebody, b) send that text first, c) ask the person how are they doing before they asked us … Relationships shouldn’t work that way. They shouldn’t be based on “you do this for me and I’ll do that for you” foundation. At least not in the literal way.
Meaning? Of course, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world to know a person you can trust – knowing they will help you out if you have problem – and them showing you that they equally trust you. But you can’t keep track how many times did they give you a good advice, how many times did they invite you out and compare it to how many times you do it. Such silly things shouldn’t matter.
I’ve called this a discussion, that’s why I call you all to comment what do you think. Do you often expect a reward – when and in what form? Do you expect people to act the same way toward you that you do toward them and do you find yourself counting the “good deeds”? Can you do good without expecting a reward?
I will be posting more through summer, so I hope you guys can be a part of my posts! 🙂