Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Wisdom of Good Deeds

People’s good deeds are used by the eternal as seeds for planting trees in the Garden of Eden: thus, each of us creates our own paradise.”
The Mezeritzer Rebbe

Good deeds are the best mood elevator.

Speaking about doing good is one of those things that sounds like one has run out of clichés, so we harvest others' clichés. 

It doesn't make it less true, just not original. 
Traditional communities have institutionalized this. Modern educational programs have returned to emphasize volunteering. Twelve-step programs are built on strugglers helping each other and thus helping themselves. 

The wisdom is old, perennial, and deep.

Doing for another will make you feel good. It’s not complicated. It’s not about being unselfish either; it’s the best way to help oneself. Even the Objectivists’ Philosophy of Selfishness acknowledges this.

The quotation from the Hassidic Rebbe makes it clear that, from the Jewish perspective, even a deed done without one’s heart in it becomes a building block to happiness.

didn't feel like it. I didn't feel much of anything, to be frank. But I went and did it anyway. I helped someone.

Like I said-- best mood elevator. 

Next time you reach for the pill bottle, or any bottle, or the remote control, or the illusion of control-- try this: tell yourself you can always do that later, after you've helped someone.

Reminder to self: Plant a tree today. After weeding, that is. 


Kelly Hashway said...

It does feel good to help other people. Absolutely! :)

Caryn Caldwell said...

I so agree! In fact, I think it's a sign of maturity when people are finally old enough to realize how much fun it is to give -- and it often IS more fun than receiving.

Evelyn said...


Vijaya said...

Great wisdom, Mirka. We aren't meant to gaze at our own navels.

Johnell said...

Nice. And so true.

Diane Kress Hower said...

So true Mirka. :)

Marcia Strykowski said...

Wonderful reminder, thanks.

Yanting Gueh said...

Yes, do good deeds. Everyday. For strangers. For family. Start small.