Have you ever held the door for someone and they don’t even say thank you? Let a car cut in front of you without getting so much as a wave? Say “bless you” to someone who sneezes without them even giving you a glance.
That kind of stuff really used to piss me off.
I think the real question is “why do you do those things in the first place?”. Is it because you want to feel appreciated? Is it because you want to feel like you are a good person? Or is it because you ARE a good, generous, or caring person?
I would argue the answer we all should aspire to is the last one. We do kind things for others because it reflects who we are. I let people cut me in line or pay for the people behind me in the drive thru because I want to be someone who cares for other people.
I think the closer we are to that, the less it matters if someone thanks us. When I hold the door for someone, that’s a reflection of who I am. When they fail to thank me for it, that shows who they are. And for all I know…maybe it doesn’t. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they have a sick child or just lost their job. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t change who I am. Doesn’t make me regret exercising my goodness muscle, or the ethical endorphin rush I get from doing so.
I say all this, but I’ve still got some way to go. You know how I know that? Donations. Gofundme.com. From time to time, I donate to various causes for people I care about. I make a decent living, and I want to help, so I give as much as I can.
So righteous and generous right? Then how come I never click the “anonymous” box? Maybe I don’t need a thank you, but my ego is still in the building. The analytics and comments functionality on this blog are very much enabled.