Wednesday Wisdom: A Selfish Good Deed

The holiday season always seems to deliver numerous selfless behaviors and good deeds that most of us may not always exhibit (but should). There are countless toy drives and food banks that we give to, food kitchens that we volunteer our time at, and servers we tip just a little more than usual.

All of these things make us feel great, right? They also help somebody else, so what’s not to love? But are these deeds of ours truly of the selfless variety? The line between being selfless and selfish is often a thin one:

Despite the deep discussion between Joey and Phoebe, I do believe there are selfless good deeds. Sure, you help out during the holidays because there is a certain societal expectation to give more during the month of December and you just wanted to feel good about doing something for somebody else.

However, helping somebody on the side of the road change their tire because you saw somebody genuinely in need of help and didn’t think twice to offer it? There’s nothing selfish about that.

There’s a difference between volunteering your time during the month of December and helping somebody with a flat tire in the middle of July. Ultimately, all good deeds or favors leave us feeling good about what we did for somebody else. The difference is when you do it solely for the purpose of helping somebody in need, without thinking about yourself. You’ll feel great, they’ll feel great, and chances are they’ll want to return the favor someday.

Kaci Howe

Kaci Howe

Ohio University Class of 2012, Ohio University Marching 110 Alum, Devil's Advocate, & Wanderlust. Firm believer that running, books, and dogs are the cures for most of life's problems.