Sunday, September 8, 2013


It's odd how, while it's not true that no good deed goes unpunished, good deeds often are entirely ignored. This is not to say "aw, screw it" - a thing that needs doing needs doing.

Just don't expect any appreciation. Even from family. Perhaps especially from family. There's no Annual Review process there.

The older I get the more enamored I get with the old stoic philosophers. They found a way to deflect that "aw, screw it" impulse, keeping active even in the midst of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The problem with the Stoics is that their books read at best like a Hallmark card, and at worst like a fortune cookie. I suspect that there's better hiding somewhere in the works of the Zen masters, but have been too lazy to look.

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Old NFO said...

Heard that...

libertyman said...


Merits discussion over a few adult beverages, as it is more widespread than you might have thought.

Arthur said...

I have to say that's one thing I do take for granted. My family - even including a good number of the extended family - has been entirely selfless.

When my mother passes I'm sure we'll drift apart, but for now if anyone needs help we all show up.

The only fly in the ointment has been one in-law that if they had an 'accident' the entire crew(including their spouse) would answer any official inquiry with "Who? I'm sorry, I have no recollection of that Senator"

Midwest Chick said...

With you on that. Tried the Stoic too, doesn't work for long because then you've lost the human connection.

And never been enamored with Zen--folks coming around whacking you with sticks to 'aid your meditation' just puts me in mind of Kevin Bacon in Animal House--"Thank you sir, may I please have another...". Hard to maintain Zenlike composure when you're busting up laughing on the inside.

Just remember that we're not doing things for the appreciation (although it's nice), it's because it's the right thing, and there is some satisfaction in that.

instinct said...

I've found that even when you think what you have done has gone unnoticed, it usually was noticed and come back at you later. That can also be a good or bad thing, depending on what you did.

That said, we do what we do not for glory or rewards, but because we know in our hearts it's the right thing and we will be able to look at ourselves in the mirror the next day.