“What have you done for me lately?” Have you found yourself asking this question (usually in the confines or your mind and sometimes out loud) of your spouse, family member, friend or neighbor?
“Keeping score” seems to be the modus operandi of many individuals
these days: I cooked the dinner, so he should clean up. He went out for drinks with his buddies last night, so I deserve a “girls night out” tonight. I called her last time, it’s her turn to call me. I took out the trash, so she should bring the cans back up. I bathed the kids, so he should tuck them in. She just got a new car, so I am entitled to this new motorcycle.
You get the picture. Whatever happened to the fine art of doing something for someone out of love and concern without thinking about the “payback” you are going to receive in return for your act of kindness?
“One hand washing the other” is very attractive especially when there is some personal gain involved. This became quite evident to me during the many years that I worked in the business world. I was everyone’s best friend when I assisted the Vice President and had the responsibility of fielding all of his phone calls and acted as his “gatekeeper”. Vendors calling in for appointments with my boss fell all over themselves to be nice to me and endear themselves to me. When my role changed at the company and I was no longer working for the VP, several of these same individuals acted as if they didn’t even know me. Their behavior did not come as a surprise to me; however, it was a foreign concept to me.
Let me explain….When I was growing up, my parents never told me that I should help others when given the opportunity. They just did it. As for me, I witnessed their love in action. They had a selfless love for each other and for each one of their ten children. My father often brought cake or donuts from our cousin’s bakery shop to a sick neighbor or the lady down the street who just had a death in the family. It wasn’t the donuts that these people received that meant so much to them. It was the love and compassion that my father displayed during these visits by taking time out of his busy schedule to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on during difficult times.
We have all heard of “Random Acts of Kindness” and “Paying It Forward”. Ask yourself this question: “When was the last time I paid it forward or committed a random act of kindness?” Try it, you just might like it.