What are good deeds?
When is a deed good?
How do we know when we have done a good deed?
Is it right to do good deeds as the means to get what we hope for?
This entry on 'Doing good deeds' is inspired by a reader, Anne, who questioned the act of doing good deeds for achieving a conception. She had commented that such deeds are not pure and sincere to begin with. Let us explore this topic in greater detail and decide for ourselves how far a good deed can get you, if that is possible in the first place.
Broadly speaking, good deeds are defined as acts of kindness done by one being for another, without any intention of returns. The key ideas in a good deed are centered on kindness and no intention of any returns. When a deed is done out of these two ideas, we could quite firmly suggest that it is therefore good, pure and sincere.
Acts of good deed can be volunteering of time or effort, or making a monetary donations. It could be any good deeds that you think you have done. Does donating old clothes which you have no use or are trying to de-clutter constitute a good deed? This can be easily answered by the two criteria - kindness and no intention of returns. Did you fulfill them when you donated your clothes? You may not have any thoughts of having returns but you might not have donated out of kindness. You could have donated with the end focus on yourself. In this case, donating clothes becomes an act of convenience. Yes, even though the clothes may inadvertently benefit another group of beings, you have not done a deed out of kindness at the onset. In a nutshell, you did not accumulate any merits from donating clothes when there is no focus on kindness. Conversely, this whole idea of donating clothes becomes a good deed when you rummage through your cupboard for old clothes just for the sole purpose of donating to the needy. It is all done for the greater good of another being. The essence of its goodness is in the spontaneity.
The other goodness of good deeds is the continuity. A friend of mine is an amazing doer of good deeds. He volunteers his time to deliver bags of dried food to poor families every weekend and he has been doing it for many years. I salute his persistent effort for charitable causes. He goes out of the way to make doing good deeds a regular part of his lifestyle, sacrificing the time which he could enjoy in other ways.
In doing good deeds, we accumulate merits. And merits accumulated means good tidings come our way this lifetime or the next. So, can we go all out to accumulate merits to receive blessings? Absolutely YES! All of us should do good deeds - as many and as often as possible. Remember the two criteria of a good deed. If you could do a good deed as defined, the merits are perfectly and divinely yours to receive. Accumulate as much as you can. There is no downside to doing good.
However, the question centers on doing good to exchange for what we hope for. Is it right in any way? Firstly, in doing good deeds, it requires the doer to feel kindness and have no intentions of any sorts. Secondly, it is an exchange. Our life contract is written but we do have the means to change it and we have free will to decide how each path or challenge should be taken on. Like a student who can right a wrong through corrections and conscious learning, we could change our life through frequent good deeds. With merits, we could do a redemption. Accumulating merits does not mean we will definitely achieve a conception, secure a business deal or ease any physical pain. Merits accumulated is the means for an exchange to assist us in facing the challenges we have set up in our life contract. Merits pave the way for us - by reducing or clearing obstacles or by creating coincidental meetings or unknown opportunities - to make life smoother and easier. Thirdly, even though we have no intentions of any returns in doing good, good begets good after all. With the Universe working like a boomerang, your good actions can only 'boomerang' blessings your way. In goodness you sow, and so in goodness you shall reap. Have you ever noticed how your blessings mirror your deeds? Have you also noticed how little joys make life journey a more pleasant one? The little joys of locating a parking lot easily when the car park is more than full; the little joy of getting your hands on the last set of toy that your child has been waiting for; the little joy of having the rain stopped just before your barbecue. Oh, these are some of the little luck that make life joyful. Little as it may be, never forget how a straw broke a camel's back. These little joys bring a new perspective to true kindness that would change the way you see the world. In this shift of perspectives, you become grateful for all the blessings that come your way. Being grateful changes your whole energy and centers your physical being in dealing with the routine daily. By embracing gratitude, it invites the unexpected goodness into it.
May you be convinced to do more good deeds. If it is in fear that you do good, there will come a day that you would cultivate goodness to do it out of love.
In violet love and joy,