Good Deeds Create Instant Karma

[The alternate text displayed when the image is not visible] Good deeds reward you instantly.

She was tiny, ancient, and very, very slow. The old woman, stooped with osteoporosis and carrying a large grocery bag, inched toward the supermarket entrance. “Can I help you?” I asked. She said yes without hesitation and handed me the bag (it was feather-light).

Minutes later we reached the customer service counter. She touched my arm with her small, nearly-translucent hand and thanked me again, beaming.

And suddenly, a feeling of warm fuzziness surged through me. It was way more than nice. It was wonderful. I was amazed that this small good deed could deliver so much instant gratification.

The Caregiver Perspective

Working at CaringBridge, where we venerate and communicate with caregivers every day, I wondered if this was how they felt all the time. Probably not, since what I’d done was the “sprint” of a spur-of-the-moment act of kindness, while caregivers are on more of a compassionate marathon.

All the more reason they should be respected: their rewards are earned with much harder, longer-term dedication.

The Boy Scouts Were Right

I remembered the Boy Scout rule about doing one good deed a day. But they never mentioned the reward: the feeling of selflessness, the micro-heroism of helping others.

So that initial act of kindness led to several more that week.

  • There was the Twins-capped kid at Costco, maybe three, trying to pull a shopping cart loose. I helped. His dad, standing to the side, thanked me quietly. Later I saw the kid squirming happily in the cart seat with dad pushing – cap off now, bald, with a little bald-headed companion doll in the seat with him. I teared up.
  • A few days later, it was the Somali woman at the Laundromat. Could I change a $100 bill? No, but I could (and did) drive to an ATM, return with five twenties, and receive a nice “God Bless You” from her.
  • Finally, the turtles. I stopped twice to grab a couple of them crossing roadways, transporting them to nearby bodies of water (in Minnesota, there’s usually a lake within a block or two of wherever you are).

A Very Good Habit

Each of my very small good turns that week delivered its own on-the-spot reward: the indescribable feeling of satisfaction from helping another person (or turtle) with no expectation of reward. So my good deed mission – a helping hand here, a kind word there – will continue.

Look around. There are opportunities to help people everywhere, all the time – in big and small ways. Every good deed will make you happy.

Pay it Forward – Share This Post

Please pass this article on to someone you care about. And share stories about your own good deeds – as a caregiver or otherwise – and about times you’ve benefited from someone else’s act of kindness.

Comments (2)

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Kay coats Sep 02, 2013 7:50pm
This is so true. Nothing makes you feel any better than doing something nice for someone else.
phyllis m holt Aug 29, 2013 8:22pm
I always give to all those in need first before myself I do without if it means putting a smile on someone elses face even for a minute