No Good Deed

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I had a friend who used to say, “No good deed goes unpunished.” I always thought it seemed a bit negative, and for the most part, I think most good deeds do go unpunished. Unfortunately, though, I have found it to be true on many occasions.

I’m the type that always wants to do things for others. Need a ride? I’m there! Need someone to take you to the doctor? Call me! Need someone to vent to? I’m listening. Maybe because of this, and the sheer number of times I offer help, the odds are that I’m a bit more prone to coming across these situations where my good deeds seem to be met with punishment.

Surely you’ve been there…you go out of your way to help someone out, and it ends up costing you in the end. Perhaps they take advantage of you, and you become their go-to person for EVERYTHING. Or there is no thanks, or sometimes, you are given only a scowl as a thanks. Being a fairly upbeat person, when this happens, I try to say to myself, “I’m sure he was just having a bad day,” or “She’s not feeling well, so I can surely forgive her surly attitude.” But sometimes, when it happens repeatedly, I can’t help but say, “I’m never doing THAT again!”

It’s sad that the very need someone has for help is then unmet the next time because of their past attitude towards the one helping. For the helper, it makes you feel duped, taken advantage of, angry, and hurt. I’m pretty sure that oftentimes, the one being helped doesn’t even realize how it might have sounded or felt to the helper, because they were so caught up in their own situation and needs at the time. And, if you’re like me, after time passes, you get over your anger and hurt, you turn right around and help that person out again, because you’re a helper!

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One response »

  1. This is a great topic, and I can’t resist adding my two cents. I would certainly not hesitate to help my relatives and close friends in any way possible. I would help anyone in a true emergency as best I could. But the general public has become increasingly disappointing in their response to attempts at helping them over the years, and I believe that good deeds are punished all the time. That is one of the main reasons I recently changed careers and no longer deal with the general public–the vast majority couldn’t care less about any efforts to help them. In fact, they often make it as difficult and regrettable as possible. While I would like to be as optimistic as the author, my experience won’t let me.

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