The other day I helped a friend of mine help a friend of his. As we were carrying in the elderly neighbor’s new hot water heater, my friend said “You have done your good deed for the day.”

What is a good deed?

His implication; it was good because I didn’t receive anything in return for it. I wasn’t paid. I spent my gas, time, and energy without any tangible benefit to me.

I had spent all day, cleaning and showing a house to potential tenants. It is a really nice home extremely close to the University of Louisville. I enjoyed living there as a student, the home is nicer than when I lived in it. Now students get to derive the same benefits I enjoyed while living there. Were those activities good deeds?

If we are paid for an activity is it no longer a good deed?

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Comment by Robert Clinton on July 9, 2013 at 8:39pm

Great post J.B; Ann and Gail are on it... From my chair it's all about the central motivation! I love trading value for value, and I also love doing good because it's from the heart. I think both scenarios can work well together.

Comment by Gail Nelson on July 9, 2013 at 2:45pm

Whether you get paid or not for a good deed - I think it's the motivation behind the deed that makes it good or not. When the goal isn't the money in and of itself, but in giving each party value in some form, then it's a good deed. 

At least that's my take on it. 

Comment by Ann Musico on July 9, 2013 at 2:18pm

Absoluely J.B.! I think of it more as sowing seeds wherever I go - whether for the green certificates of appreciation or not!  And I love Thou Shall Prosper as well.

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