Friday, April 23, 2010

Why be nice?

Everyone knows my blog is fluff at best, a random hodgepodge of things I like, things I don't like, things I've seen, and things I've eaten.  Allow me to be serious for a moment.  It's like when they bring the lights down at a concert for a slow jam.

Recently finding myself incapable of peeling myself off the couch for much more than a trip to the bathroom, I relied heavily on the goodwill of first my sister, and then my husband.  I needed only ask, and they'd jump up to get me a red popsicle (until I ate them all and had to switch to green) or break a pill into fourths so I wouldn't choke on it...again.  It reached a point where I didn't even have to ask--the dear man would notice that my straw was sucking air and hop up to get me more water.

Friends came by, bringing ice cream, fudgesicles, popsicles, soup, dvds.  Even my husband's friend and coworker stopped by.  I was amazed by the number of people who went out of their way to try to make me a little more comfortable in a really miserable time.

I thought to myself, "Why on earth would someone do that?"  I mean, my husband is contractually obligated to take care of me, sure, but what about all these other people?  Why bother being nice?

And then it hit me (and yes, it's sad that it required this much thinking, but guys, prescription painkillers seriously mess up my head) that this is what charity is.  This is bearing one another's burdens and lifting up the hands that hang down.  That tub of ice cream isn't just vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel and praline bits; it's evidence of someone trying to live their religion.

So thanks guys, for taking care of me when I was sick.  And I promise, if you get your tonsils out, I'll bring you some ice cream.


  1. .... and that the act of charity is in itself a selfish act, at least for husband. Making someone we love comfortable and happy pays us back 20 fold. But I love your point - it's all the point of trying to practice this religion we preach. I'm glad you're feeling better :)

  2. There's a lot of philosophical debate if it's possible to do any good deed without any self-interest/reward, because we feel good for being nice. I say, "Does it matter? Everybody wins."

  3. I think the philosophical debate is overly technical.
    WHY do we help others? If we help for the reward to ourselves then it is selfish. If we help others because they need it, it's not.


Be nice.