Friday, 08 January 2010
This morning did not start so well. The news warned of icy deathtraps on the highway, and the wind chill was somewhere around 1. My car was encased in impenetrable ice, so I started the car and left it alone to defrost. I went inside for ten minutes or so, came back out to find the ice still mostly in place, went back inside, and came back out with a bucket of warm water, which put an end to the ice. Satisfied and feeling intelligent, I opened my door to get in.
Except... it didn't open.
You know that feeling? That "Haha... no... surely not... If I just... well... crap." Locksmith called, waiting, tow truck pulls up, door jimmied open, a brief discussion of global warming while he processes my credit card. The price of stupidity: $55.
I was a little miffed as I headed back up to lock my apartment, when the girl downstairs came out to her car, which was next to mine. It was also inside a block of ice, so she pried her door open, got in, started it up, and waited for it to defrost. I walked up and waved at her vague distorted form through the bumpy ice sheet. She opened her door.
"Want me to get you some warm water? It'll defrost a lot faster that way."
"Okay," she said blankly.
I gave her car the same treatment I gave mine and the car was ready to go.
"Thank you!" she said, again, blankly, and drove off.
An interesting thing happened at this point. I didn't care that I'd been an idiot and put myself out of money. I wasn't worried about the icy roads ahead. All that had evaporated and suddenly I was having a good day. I didn't get -- nor did I expect -- any kind of reward from her, or from the hall monitor standing nearby with a "Caught Being Good" free ice cream coupon in hand. Merely my attitude and outlook on the day had changed for the better, which was all the reward I needed.
Does this mean even selfless acts are selfish? Yes. So what? If being selfless made you feel bad, would you do it? Of course not. God designed us that way on purpose. We are inherently selfish by nature, so he made sure that serving one another would still satisfy that selfish desire. So give it a shot. Having a crappy day? Hand out a random act of kindness or two. You'll see what I'm talking about.
Have you had a similar experience? What good deeds have you done that were rewarded only in the feeling of goodness?