No good deed goes unpunished…
Someone once told me that “No good deed goes unpunished” and I am about at the point where I believe him.
Perhaps I’m old fashioned or out of touch, but it seems to me that if you try and be kind to folks and help them out the best you can, then it isn’t too much to expect something like a simple…’thanks’ or “I appreciate what you’ve done”.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask, do you’
A couple of months ago, people in our church selected me to find a family that might need some extra help over the holidays. I read a newspaper article about an organization that was assisting the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina, called them up and found a family of seven that needed some help.
I called them, got their sizes, ages and kind of a breakdown of what they needed the most. Their main concern was someplace to sleep since they had no beds. We arranged to have new queen size beds, mattresses, headboards and frames delivered to them. Then the rest of our group got together and donated sheets, pillows, towels, dishes and pots and pans. It was a load of stuff.
I got a friend of mine with a van to go with me to deliver everything to them.
The reaction we got was not exactly what we expected. First of all they were somewhat disappointed that we didn’t have any toys or clothes for their children. We gave them gift cards to various stores since I wouldn’t have any idea of what types of clothing or games and toys kids want these days. We figured that gift cards made more sense as they could be used to buy whatever they wanted. They took the cards and made us aware that they didn’t have a car and it was going to take some effort for them to get to the mall and shop.
The two of us left without saying anything and just racked it up to folks having a bad day or several bad months and that they really were thankful, but just stressed out over what their current situation was. Besides, our job is to give, not worry about anything else.
The week before Christmas, my wife’s mother died. We had planned on having our family over for dinner and all the normal stuff, but it just didn’t work that way. So, here we are with a lot of food that no one is going to eat. I called the family and asked if they have enough to eat and could they use what we had or see that someone, anyone got to use it’They said they would and to bring it on out.
This time my wife went with me, and we stopped at the store and loaded up on stuff that we thought they could use.
When we arrived, this family wasn’t even cordial, they were downright hostile. They took the food inside, walked us back out to the car and that was about it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t going out and giving stuff away with the expectations of someone wanting praise and their undying gratitude. But you know, a simple…’thanks’ or something would have been appreciated. Not hostility and anger. I feel sorry for these people, I know they have had a hard time and their situation may not get better anytime soon, but why get mad at us for trying to help them out’Did I do something wrong’
I don’t have the answers to this kind of problem. How can you help or feel like helping when your offers are resented’This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. None of us were doing anything except trying to help out.
I wish someone could explain this to me; it makes it difficult to want to help others out in the future. In the meantime, I choose to just go on doing what I have been doing, trying to help where I can and not worrying about it.
I’m doing what I know is right, and therefore that’s good enough for me.