Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

Something to Think About: The Cost of a Good Deed

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In light of everything going on lately, I thought now would be a good time to talk about doing a good deed.  It was something I was often encouraged to do when I was in Girl Scouts.  We were all about good deeds.  It was encouraged when I went to Catholic school.  Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been encouraged to do good deeds, and with the situation with the neighbors I can’t seem to get out of my mind that perhaps we need to start focusing on that again.

To truly be a good deed it should cost nothing of the recipient.  It should be done from the goodness of your heart.  Don’t expect anything in return, not even a “thank you”, because I’ve learned that you often won’t get one.  That’s not why you’re doing a good deed, and if it is, you should consider your motivation.  A good deed shouldn’t be with expectation of getting something in return because then you’re doing it for the reward, no matter how small, not to be charitable.

At the same time, a good deed is going to come at a cost, though how much really depends on what it is.  Donating money to any cause is an obvious example.  You give up an exact sum of money.  Making gift baskets or boxes for families in need at the holidays is a donation of money spent and sometimes time.  Then there are other things, like volunteering at a soup kitchen that don’t cost much more than time and energy.

I donate money every time I come across those Salvation Army bell ringers.  I may not have much more than a handful of change, but I always drop it in the bucket.  Well, usually I let the kids drop it in the bucket.  I always used to like when my mom would let me be the one to do it when I was little.  Salvation Army is really important to me because they’ve done so much for my family when we were homeless.  I know the little donations I can give aren’t going to repay the money they must have spent it helping us with daycare and al of the clothes and other things they gave us for our family.  I can’t thank them enough, so instead I do what I can to try and pay it back to them, hopefully help someone else in time.

I tend to be a really good person when it comes to being charitable towards others.  I will put myself out there to be nice.  I will put myself out there to the very brink of sacrificing myself.  It’s a part of who I am.  I’ll give and give until I’m bone dry, especially in the case of people in need.  I can’t stand to see another family suffer, especially one with kids.  It’s just a part of who I am.

For the longest time I used to think that good deeds were where it’s at.  I thought I could change the world, but quickly found out that good deeds can be very costly.  Being poor my deeds were mostly giving of myself.  I helped others wherever I could.  To some degree I let others walk all over me.  I’m too giving and charitable in a way.  It’s come back to bite me in the butt more than I can count.

So the lesson is to give all you can give, but not a minute or penny more.  Find that balance within yourself.  Find out exactly what you have to offer, and offer it.  Maybe you can knit for charities that gives to families with newborns.  You could send care packages of needed items to soldiers overseas.  How about reading to the elderly, regardless of your age?  There are things you can do and people who could be helped by you, regardless of how much you can give.  Every little bit can help a family in need.

Sure, there are people here who will use you.  There are some people who live off the charity of others, but if you focus on that, you’ll be stuck in the negative.  It’s not about the gratitude.  It’s not about any sense of accomplishment.  It’s about giving, and helping other people.  Those who use the charity of others for all it’s worth are suffering too.  They just might not be ready to acknowledge it.  Hope, pray, do whatever it is you do that they will find a way to improve their own lives.

I encourage everyone to go out there and try to find some little way to give back, to make for a better community.  It’s the season of giving in many ways.  Taking time to support your community will not just improve your community, but they’ll also help make for more connections in your life.  It will truly build community, not just a group of people who live in the same area.  You’d be surprised at what that will do.

Sorry if this is disjointed  I’m exhausted and we’ve got unexpected company tonight.  I don’t even know how long before they leave.  We may just have to ask them to leave, which I really don’t want to do.  Like I said, know the limits to your own ability to give.  I’m afraid the cost of this decision may run me completely ragged…


Author: Fox

With four kids, who has time for much? We spend a lot of time together, which translates to a lot of knitting time for me when we hang out. We've been trying to get back to our unschooling roots. We watch a lot of videos, play a lot of games, and pay attention to the things we notice in our everyday life. It's been quite the big adventure!

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