God Bless You

Goodness 1 Comment

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.

One thought on “God Bless You

  • Sam Polcer

    Jew here.

    Check it: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/eight-levels-of-charitable-giving

    For your convenience:

    “Maimonides defines eight levels in giving charity (tzedakah), each one higher than the preceding one.

    On an ascending level, they are as follows:
    8. When donations are given grudgingly.

    7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

    6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

    5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

    4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity, but the donor still doesn’t know the specific identity of the recipient.

    3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

    2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.

    1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.”

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