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Thread: doing something nice, for self or other

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    doing something nice, for self or other

    I have a feeling about doing a very small thing for someone, and if you look at it as deserving then they have not earned anything really. However it is not about them, I find when I follow through on these intuitions it is a good thing. I almost never find out what happened or if there was any impact later, but I go forward as if it may have. In some ways maybe it is selfish, well I think it would be if I got attached to being a good person or finding out I made some awesome difference. But letting it go just means it is one thing you do and move on.

    In thinking about this I think it can be a way of clearing the air and releasing from someone who does not deserve a kind gesture, restoring the balance in myself in fact.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I have heard many times that, in doing things for others, you really are doing them for yourself. You are demonstrating to yourself tangibly that you are (pick one or more) generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever. You can always imagine yourself to be generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever, but by doing something concrete (not always money, either) you prove it to yourself so you can know yourself to be whatever personality attribute you're expressing.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I have heard many times that, in doing things for others, you really are doing them for yourself. You are demonstrating to yourself tangibly that you are (pick one or more) generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever. You can always imagine yourself to be generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever, but by doing something concrete (not always money, either) you prove it to yourself so you can know yourself to be whatever personality attribute you're expressing.
    Well, ok. It is still an ok thing to do, right?

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm too old to have to prove anything much to anyone, least of all myself.
    Follow your intuition, ZG.

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    I enjoy doing nice things for people.

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    Since it will be anonymous I won't get that outside validation, but still i can think i am a good person.

    My Buddhist teachers believe that practicing generosity is very beneficial. It is the intention morethan than the item, action, or amount. Then to track your experience and reaction. I know if you feel pressured or tied up in looking good then at times they will recommend changing how much you offer or changing it up to address it. In general generosity makes it easier to sit in meditation with less regret.

    I think that my intention is useful, to send some well wishes, i wont see the results so it will be easier to let go of expectations

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    ZG, consider yourself the recipient for awhile? You're going to continue counseling-it's going to have out of pocket expense. What you don't need is stress over paying the necessities in your life. Focus on yourself this first year of your new job.

    And heck, if you have a ton of money next July get generous with it!

    You are a worthy recipient. Self-care is priceless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I have heard many times that, in doing things for others, you really are doing them for yourself. You are demonstrating to yourself tangibly that you are (pick one or more) generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever. You can always imagine yourself to be generous, forgiving, adequately wealthy, loving, whatever, but by doing something concrete (not always money, either) you prove it to yourself so you can know yourself to be whatever personality attribute you're expressing.

    I think I see that more in my mom who is a good mid-western woman. She is always bringing the casserole, helping at the food bank, doing a lot of honestly good deeds. And in general she feels good about it, she is a generous person who doesn't do that crappy judgy thing that some people do. However it is freakin' impossible for her to accept generosity. I had to learn and practice that accepting generosity is also a spiritual practice. You are allowing someone else to benefit from their act of generosity. So humble your dang self and accept it.

    Gardnr - I agree. It is well wishes and a book I got for free. So no expense to speak of. I have small automatic payments going to each of my Buddhist teachers and they are invaluable to me. I also asked for a partial scholarship to my retreat, I could have pushed it to pay more but I know I need to continue counseling. During my insurance change I may need to pay for a session out of pocket (which I am doing anyway with high deductible, but figured out last time I can use my health savings account for some of it).

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    Yes my mom could give but had trouble accepting. I learned from that and graciously accept when someone is kind to me or gives me something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe Girl View Post
    I had to learn and practice that accepting generosity is also a spiritual practice. You are allowing someone else to benefit from their act of generosity. So humble your dang self and accept it.
    I struggle with this same thing. It's so much easier for me to "do" than to be on the receiving end. I have figured out that it definitely isn't a sense of "pride", but haven't figured it all out yet. Meditating on it as well and enjoying the "doing" that I am able to do in the meantime.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

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