An act of goodness is of itself an act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it. – Maurice Maeterlinck
What does that mean?
This quote says what I believe is a fundamental truth of life. Acts of goodness are a tremendous source of happiness. Every good deed puts a smile not only on their face, but yours as well. There is a great feeling that goes with the act as well. I don’t know I’d call it happiness, but that’s close enough a label for the feeling.
The quote then goes on to say that doing a good deed is it’s own reward. Nothing that happens afterward is equal, much less better, than the feeling you get from the act itself.
Search back through your past and think of the times you’ve done something nice for someone, without any thought of getting something back. Even something as simple as holding open a door or letting them go first. Oh yeah. Mmmmmm. At least it feels good to me.
Why is doing good deeds important?
From a selfish standpoint, doing good deeds helps you to feel better. I’m pretty sure there is a rush of endorphins that comes with the act, the body’s own chemical reward system. Do good, feel better. Pretty soon, you’re addicted.
From an interpersonal standpoint, doing good helps not only the other person, but both of them feel better about it. They might even want to try to help you back, or even help someone else. Pretty soon, you’ve spread the action of doing good to another person.
From a societal standpoint, doing good helps all the people just a little, and tends to build a positive momentum. If a person helps another, it’s unlikely to be an isolated event. They’ll probably help hundreds or thousands in their lifetime. And each of the people who were helped will likely start helping some others. Pretty soon, everyone is a little better off.
Where can I apply this in my life?
This could easily be about doing individual kindnesses, acts of goodness that you could try on your own. However, I don’t think that too many of you need coaching on how to do good deeds. You probably do a ton of them each week without even thinking about them.
Instead, I’d like to consider how to encourage others to ‘pay it forward’ and do a good deed for another person. In this way, we can hope to spread one act of goodness into multiple acts. With luck, we can have good acts that move from person to person, going on to a third ‘generation’ or beyond.
So how do you encourage someone to help others? A few times, when I did a greater kindness, they offered to reward me in some way. That was the perfect opening to ask them to do something nice for someone else instead of doing something for me.
For lesser acts of goodness or kindness, such as holding open a door, you may need a slightly different tactic. I will often plant a seed each time someone says ‘thanks’ to me for holding it open. I will say something like ‘I enjoy helping people.’
The seed I am trying to plant is that helping others is a pleasant experience. I am also trying to let them know that it takes very little effort and provides great reward for both the helper, and the one helped. I have no way of knowing if any of those seeds have grown to maturity in these people, but I hope at least a few have.
What do you do to help others? What acts of goodness, kindness, or helpfulness do you do on a regular basis, without even thinking about it? How do you respond when someone says ‘thanks’ – do you say ‘your welcome, nod your head, say ‘aw shucks!” or do you plant a seed?
I hope you have taken the time to examine your life and found that you do at least a few good, kind, or helpful things from time to time. I hope you also noticed that there is room for improvement, and will put some effort into doing more.
I also hope you have taken notes on the two tactics I use to encourage others to do acts of goodness. By writing this, I now have a third tactic. Feel free to come up with things that work for you, and also feel free to leave a comment with those ideas, so that others might benefit.
It’s time to do something. Make yourself a promise on what you will do tomorrow (or even better, later today) to make yourself happy. Then be sure to follow through. Build momentum, develop habits, build muscle memory in the ‘act of goodness’ part of your heart.
The world needs more people like you. It’s time to get busy!
From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mauricemae121482.html
Photo by mallydally