Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Feel good" stories vs reality check

There are many "feel good" articles on the internet that inspire the best in each of us. It can be a story of someone who shows great kindness to a stranger and get richly blessed in return. Or it can be about a great sacrifice, a heroic act, or an act of mercy or unconditional love. The examples are many and we feel good reading about it. We forward it to other people to spread the "feel good" feeling around.

What happens in real life is quite different from the world we idealize. A great act of kindness may elicit just a simple word of thanks and not the shower of blessings we expect to follow. Many acts of love go unacknowledged or unappreciated; some even get rejected in contempt. That's real life. If you have never experienced disappointment, or if your life resembles the "feel good" stories all the time, you may have to get out of your gilded cage.

However, not getting an immediate positive response should not discourage us from doing good deeds. In fact, we are told not to let our good deeds to be seen by others. The Bible has this to say in Matthew 6:1-4.
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."


Carole said...

nice blog. You might like this Wordsworth quote about little acts of love and kindness. Acts of Kindness Wordsworth

YM said...

Thanks, Carole. That was a really nice quote. I'd like to post the quote here for others:

“The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

– William Wordsworth – born on this day in 1770