Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Intrinsic Value

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."  Albert Einstein

This was posted on facebook today by a friend of mine.  I shared it, and it really got me thinking.  Whenever we go to the store, Jacob wants something.  "I'll be good" he says.  When Doug or I come home from a store that we have been at without him, he asks what we got him.  If we give him something, he asks if there's anything else.

Now granted, he's 5.  His world is about him, him and him. 

But sadly, there are many adults like this...except it sounds more like, "What's in it for me?"  Or "What will happen to me if I don't?"

How many people would file taxes if they KNEW there was no punishment for not filing?

How many people would go to to work if they didn't get paid?

Now I know those are "big" issues, but let's take it closer to home.

How many people go to church because they are afraid not to?  Either afraid of being judged, or afraid of God's wrath. I grew up in a church like that.  As long as your butt was in the seat, you had fire insurance, if you know what I mean.  And if you weren't there, you better be out of state or dying.  {And I'm not saying don't go to church, I'm just using this as an example to get to my point.}

This is my question:  what ever happened to intrinsic value?  When did everything become about getting something in return, or doing something just to avoid punishment or repercussion of some kind?

So this is my challenge to everyone who reads this:  do something kind just for kindness' sake.  The whole "commit random acts of kindness" and "pay it forward" cliches have been around for a while.  But seriously, when is the last time that you did something nice for someone else, just to do it? 

I guess I just want people to think about those less fortunate, or lonely, or whatever, and think of something nice you could do for them, without expecting anything back.  Do it anonymously!  That's one sure way to avoid recognition. 

One thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE about my MG Group on facebook is that people are asking me to send jewelry to someone else all the time.  It's crazy.  One person will do it, and the person who receives it will say thanks to their "anonymous" gift giver, and then someone else will want to do it... It's awesome!  And I don't mean because they're buying my jewelry (although of course that is wonderful!)...I mean, to see the real joy that both giver AND receiver get....it's pretty cool.

Just something to think about.  Do you have an elderly neighbor who is alone 90% of the time?  Go visit.  Take your kids.  It's like talking to a history book.  We can learn more from one hour talking to older folks and asking them to tell us about their lives than we could in a month of history books.

Do you know someone who had a recent illness or injury?  Ask if you can clean their house.  Bring a meal over to them. 

Is someone at church looking for a babysitter?  Volunteer your time.

You know what to do...I just really encourage you to think outside the box, and GO and DO it.

1 comment:

Pam said...

this is so very true.... great challenge...