When is the last time you did something good for someone without expecting anything in return? If you pay attention to your surroundings, you will notice people all the time who need your assistance. Most are too proud to ask but you could be the “guardian angel” if you want to be.
As citizens of this world, we have the responsibility to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, most of us are living for ourselves. I’m not innocent either. I confess to being greedy sometimes. I try not to make it the norm but I know it happens.
Charity work is great and very much needed but do you only work with big-name charitable organizations? Why do you work with them? Is it because of the recognition you will receive or the influential people you will meet?
This kind of charitable work is good but it is not what I’m addressing here. You’re serving those organizations, at least in part, because of what you will receive in return. You’re not doing good solely to be doing good.
When do you do something good and don’t want anything in return? Think hard about it. If you can’t identify some good deeds you’ve done, put some emphasis on it in the next few days and see how it makes you feel.
Below are a few examples of some good deeds you can do:
1. I was standing in line at Subway one day waiting to pay for my lunch. The person in front of me attempted to pay for his lunch with his debit card but the card was declined multiple times.
It was obvious he was embarrassed about having his card declined. He even checked his account balance online from his phone and confirmed he had money in his account. Knowing of a recent data breach that had occurred at a local grocery store chain, I asked him if he had used it there recently. He said he had but he thought it had been taken care of.
Offering the information about the data breach was a good deed right? Yes, it was but it wasn’t all I could do. So I offered to pay for his meal. He was too proud or embarrassed to permit me to pay. At least I offered and did what I could. I knew I had done the right thing.
2. I was standing in line at the gas station one day (notice a pattern of me standing in lines here?) waiting to pay for a soda. Another person checking out asked the cashier about directions to get somewhere. The cashier didn’t know how to get to the location in question because the cashier was not from around this location. I chimed in and offered directions.
I’m amazed at how frequently I can help with this simple deed. I’m blessed to be pretty good with directions so I am often able to help. I hear them asking at gas stations mostly but also at hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. I feel compelled to help if I can.
3. Being in a professional career, I get the opportunity to take continuing education courses each year. I also present or facilitate discussions among different professional groups. One of the most difficult things as a presenter is to not get participation from the audience.
Everyone in the audience has the ability to answer or ask a question but very few do. Why? They are not that interested. As the presenter at a sales training session yesterday said, “Casualness leads to casualty.” He meant that if you just sit and don’t participate, you won’t learn anything.
The more interactive the audience, the more engaged the speaker will be. Engaged speakers are more interesting speakers. Interesting speakers will have more influence on you. Do the speaker a favor and participate in the discussion.
4. When you finish eating at a restaurant, don’t leave the table a mess. Servers have such a difficult time making money as it is. Spending additional time cleaning up your mess doesn’t make it any easier. That’s not all you can do. You can also leave when you’re finished, unless you will tip extra for the extra time. Speaking of tips, start with a 20% tip and adjust up for great service.
Servers work extremely hard and rely on their customers for their livelihoods. Help them if you can. Don’t be greedy just so you save a few bucks. Eat, enjoy, clean up, tip well, leave.
5. Give up your seat in a crowded room or around a crowded table. It drives me crazy to see able-bodied men sitting while women are standing. What ever happened to chivalry? Don’t just give up your seat for women though, offer your seat to anyone if there are no seats remaining. Be kind to everyone.
Pay It Forward was a major movie release several years ago. The main message of that movie was that one good deed will turn into another and will continue doing so. This is true in my experience.
A similar movie, although a B movie, is Fireproof. The story line is great but the acting is not. This movie teaches that if you treat others well and do good things for people, you will reap the rewards. I highly recommend this movie simply based on the impact it will have on you.
When you do something good for someone, you will receive a benefit. Receiving a benefit should not be the reason you do something good though. Try it and see what happens. Be aware of what is happening around you and you will find ample opportunity to do good. Do at least one good thing per day and see how much happier you will be with yourself. It is well worth the little effort it takes.