Why Should You Do Acts of Kindness?
Why should you do good deeds?
Whether you call it random acts of kindness, paying it forward, or good deeds, they are very powerful. That is why almost every religion and culture values and rewards the performance of good deeds. There are many benefits to doing good deeds. Some of these benefits may be very obvious to you, while you may not have considered some of the others.
Let me outline for you the many benefits of performing good deeds. I am sure you are already a very generous person. I hope that I can give you even more reasons to do even more good deeds than you currently do. Below, each of these reasons for acting kind will be fully explained:
- To help someone
- To help yourself
- To meet someone
- To go to heaven or "pay it forward"
- To improve society
- To show values
- To teach by example
- To make money
- To make the world a better place.
"The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention."
When you do a good deed, you are, of course, helping someone. The homeless person in the photo now has food to eat, thanks to the kindness of these generous women. The person who is the receiver of a good deed or random act of kindness has gotten some help.
However, he received more than just a meal or two. In addition to getting food, he also received the message that he is important and worth helping. This good deed warms his heart as well as fills his stomach.
"Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression."
Besides helping someone, doing a good deed warms your own heart and makes you feel good. If you are unemployed or retired, it gives you something worthwhile to do to pass the time. It is a social activity for those who may feel isolated and alone.
Helping others gives you a new perspective and keeps you from focusing on your own problems. By focusing on someone other than yourself, you are reminded that you are not the only one in the world that has problems. In fact, it is possible that there are many people out there whose problems are much worse than yours.
"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love." —Saint Basil
In the movie Good Deeds, Wesley Deeds meets someone from outside his socioeconomic level and gets a whole new perspective on life. When we help others, we expand the number of our contacts, and hopefully get to know how people from different walks of life live. Our worldview is expanded, and our perspective changes.
Also, the chance encounter can blossom into a friendship or a relationship, which may never have happened if we didn't look outside of our own social circle.
Go to Heaven
"Good deeds from good intentions flow; but good intentions only; build for us a place below." —Anonymous
There are some religions that believe that you must be a good person in order to get to heaven. This means you have to perform good deeds regularly. Whether you tithe to your religious organization or give alms to the poor, doing good deeds is a way to get to heaven for these religions.
For religions that believe in reincarnation, doing good deeds is a great way to earn some karma, in hopes of getting a more positive form in the next life.
Even the religions that don't require good deeds to go to heaven, consider it is a moral responsibility of their members to practice charitable giving.
"Authentic values are those by which a life can be lived, which can form a people that produces great deeds and thoughts." —Allan Bloom
In the movie Pay It Forward, a child came up with the idea to help three people without accepting anything in return. He would ask the recipient to pay the favor forward to three other people. These three people, in turn, would also help three other people and ask them to pay it forward. When groups of people help each other, it is bound to help society as a whole.
When there is a natural disaster, imagine how much faster the recovery would be if people helped each other instead of looting and looking out for their own self-interest.
Good Deed Ideas
- share some food
- mow the lawn
- pay a bill
- give a hug
- write a letter, make a phone call
- open the door
- carry a heavy package
"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." —George Eliot
When you perform a good deed, there is a possibility that someone may have seen you, or may have been told about your good deed. You develop a reputation as a good moral person. Sometimes some of your other flaws are wiped out by the good deeds that you perform.
When you share your money, talents, or time with others, you may find that the rewards are so great, that you will share even more. You will naturally become a more giving, caring, sharing, and honorable person.
Teach by Example
In addition, your good deeds may influence your children and other people in your community to follow suit and do the same or similar kind of giving that you do. Without having to lecture or cajole others, simply by doing, you influence and lead others by your example.
When you participate in a community activity, or simply help someone in need, others will see or hear about your actions and be motivated to do the same.
"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it." —Benjamin Franklin
By building a reputation as an honorable person, you will feel powerful and be able to stand taller and present yourself as someone who is worth hiring and promoting. When you are generous with others, they will, in turn, be generous with you.
You may get a tax deduction for donating to a charity. A famous person may get some free publicity by showing up at a charitable event. By donating your time, you may get some skills training, which in turn can help you in your job.
More Good Deed Ideas
- share your umbrella
- give a compliment
- clean up
- give a massage
- make the coffee
Make the World a Better Place
"To be doing good deeds is man's most glorious task." —Sophocles
When you donate your time, skills, or money, you are generally doing it to make something better. Whether you help build a house, or provide library books or a school to children, or help fund research for a disease, the world is becoming a slightly better place with each donation.
As you become generous, you feel powerful and walk taller. You see the world in a more positive light. As you notice the plight of others, your perspective shifts and you don't look upon your own problems as much. The little things can be ignored because you realize how little they truly are. Even though the world didn't really change, your perspective causes you to look at it in a better light.
But it can go even farther than that. You can lead by example to help the world become a better place that values generosity and sharing. By encouraging others to pay it forward, you can truly feel some comfort in knowing that when you ever need help, there is a good chance that there will be someone there to help you in your time of need. This allows you to take reasonable chances and walk in the world unafraid.
Pay It Forward
Any day is a good day to do good deeds. There is no time like the present to do something nice for someone.
There is also an annual International Pay It Forward Day that helps remind people to do so. It is on April 26 every year. The website provides lots of ideas for the different activities people are doing around the world, ideas about what you can do, business cards you can print to share the message, and a place where you can share your stories.
There are so many reasons to do good deeds that go way beyond simply helping the recipient of the deed. You may question your own motivation if you are giving for these reasons instead of giving simply for the sake of giving. I understand the questioning since some benefits just feel ickier than others. In the end, though, no matter what reasons you choose for giving, you should continue to give. Your contribution, no matter what the intention is behind it, will still help make you a better person and the world a better place.
Questions & Answers
Question: What effects do good deeds have on others?
Answer: Doing good deeds for other people lets them know that they are important, and the assistance you provide helps them get through their lives in a more enjoyable way. In our family, each person gets to cultivate his or her strengths, and together as a family, we can all work together for the greater benefit of the family.
Question: Do you think returning someone's valuable item is a noble act?
Answer: The focus of this article is helping others, and returning a valuable item is indeed a good thing to do. Whether it is noble depends on how you acquired the piece the condition you returned it in, and how long you kept it.
Question: How can you inspire other people to do good ?
Answer: The best way to inspire other people is to set a good example and do good yourself. Seeing others acting benevolently inspires others to do the same. Many recipients of acts of kindness will, in turn, be kind to others.
Question: What if you do a good deed for a person, but they don't do the same to another?
Answer: When I do a good deed for a person, I do not expect anything from them. They are not obligated to do a good deed for me, nor are they obligated to do a good deed for anyone else. There is also the possibility that they will do a good deed for someone else and I will not be informed or will not find out about it.
© 2012 Shasta Matova