It may seem odd, but I believe there are times when we do things not for other people, not for the glory, and not for the pay, but because it is the right thing to do. I love this quote from Mother Teresa:
“People are often unreasonable and self centered: forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives: be kind anyways. If you’re successful, you’ll win some false friends and some true enemies: succeed anyway. If you’re honest and frank, people may cheat you: but be honest anyway. What you spend years building, someone can destroy overnight: build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous: be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow: do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough: give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, its between you and God, it was never between you and them anyway.”
I always liked this quote but it wasn’t until recently that I understood it totally. I had a student that was going to fail if he didn’t turn in his final three assignments. I sent several e-mails to let him know I needed the work or he would fail, but I never heard back from him. In the final hours I decided to give the student an incomplete so that he would have additional time to complete his work. I sent another e-mail notifying him I had done that, but again I never heard back. A day later I received an e-mail from the Dean advising me that this student was graduating and could not be granted an incomplete. I then e-mailed the student advising him the Dean had denied the incomplete and he would need to check with his student advisor as to what he would need to do. I told him to contact me if he had any questions. I never heard from him. Three weeks later I received an e-mail from the Dean advising that the student had reported me for not being supportive and not helping him get his work in so that he could graduate. I was told that the student had been granted an incomplete because he had complained. I was furious. The little brat had ignored me, never contacted me, and never sought my help. I gave him the incomplete out of the goodness of my heart. I didn’t have to do that, and the thanks I got was being reported for being non-supportive. The nerve!
It took me a day to calm down, but once I did I thought about the words of Mother Teresa. Others will not support every kind gesture, good deed, or success that we have. In fact, we may not receive any kindness back, and others might even try to derail our success or worse. But, as Mother Teresa advises, what we do isn’t about the other person. It is about us and creating our own good karma and sending positive energy out into the universe. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Those who you are kind to may not be kind back. Be kind anyway. Those you help may not appreciate it. Help them anyway. When I first got the e-mail from the Dean I was so angry I decided I would never go out of my way to help another student. Then I realized how ridiculous that was. I love helping others and I want my students to succeed. True, there will be those students who won’t appreciate my efforts, but there will be students that will learn, grow and succeed because of my efforts and, because of that, I will continue to do what I do.
What will you do anyway?
This week continue to do your good deeds and be kind to others. You may never receive gratitude from those you help and that is okay. Do it anyway.
Daily Success Formula
Help + Kindness + No Appreciation = Do it anyway
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy
“It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn’t, and when it does, we may well reject it.” Bernard Berkowitz
“One can never pay in gratitude: one can only pay ‘in kind’ somewhere else in life.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh