Do you ever do anything just to do it?
I was thinking about this the other day and I had to think hard to find the truth in it. When was the last time I did something just to do it? I’m not talking about going fishing, or flying my little RC airplanes, or even going to a movie. I’m talking about doing something nice for somebody without any expectations in return.
I don’t really consider myself a selfish person. Most don’t, but am I a giving one? Do I go out of my way to give the shirt off of my back or the shoes off of my feet to someone in need? Have I ever given something of myself just to give it, without any expectations of a return of even a thank you? I had to think hard. It’s been a while.
And that bothers me.
I know we all get caught up in our lives. Day to day stuff that gets in the way of what really matters. The bills, work, television, the kids’ soccer game, even mowing the lawn, as dreadful of a chore as that is. But what if we even took some of that mundane stuff in our lives and gave someone else an opportunity to get away from it?
I tried it and it was kind of cool. I was mowing my yard, dust and grass flying all around me, my stupid little dust mask on my face and my favorite FSU hat on my head. I’m a sight to see, I know. My neighbor across the street was mowing their’s also, but was struggling with a little push mower in high weeds and turf. She was not having a fun time.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy TShearer226
Now, I have this big ‘ol zero-turn radius thingy to mow my one acre lot and it plows through some pretty hefty stuff with ease. Each time I would pass her as my mower made it’s trek through my yard, I’d see her struggling. So, though I was in a hurry and really not enjoying the chore, I still drove over there and shut my mower down. I climbed off of it and waved at her. She gave me a look like ‘What the f*%$ does this guy want?’ She walked over.
“That grass is pretty high,” I said, like an idiot.
“That little mower you have there is sure having a hard time.”
“How about I knock it down for you with mine?”
Her face lit up, the smile so big I thought her skin would crack. “That would be awesome.”
“Okay. It won’t take me long.”
I climbed back up on my machine and cranked her up. I had it knocked out in a few minutes as she sat and drank some water. When I was finished, I waved and drove back over to my yard and finished up there. She waved back and shouted something to me, but I didn’t hear. It really didn’t matter what it was, I was just glad to help her. Not only did it take just a few minutes out of my schedule, but it felt pretty good to help her too and gave me a boost for the day.
With that in mind, will I continue to do things like this to get that warm fuzzy feeling again? I’d like to think so, but maybe that’s giving with conditions again. What if she hadn’t really been appreciative or had given me a hard time? Would I still feel all warm and fuzzy?
Probably not, but the point is I would still do it. I like the idea of giving without expectations. The world needs a little more of it around. I’m not trying to bolster me up or brag about being a good neighbor, I just thought it would be cool to share how one little act of kindness can mean a lot to somebody’s day. And if we could all do that, just once, every day, the world would be pretty dang cool.
Let’s do this.
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