Do Not Let Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand is Doing

Okay, folks, I’m going to get on a soapbox for a minute. I wrestled with saying something on Facebook or not but decided that my blog is a more appropriate forum for my opinion.

We need to take a minute to talk about helping others. Helping others is amazing. I have touched on this in most of my inner beauty posts, because it’s one of the most important things you can do in your life. When you help someone else, you are given the gift of being able to focus on something other than yourself, for once.

That’s why I am so angered by what I’ve recently seen on Facebook. If I have to read another post somewhere along the lines of “I’m so great because I called 911/performed CPR/donated blood/gave a guy a ride,” etc., I am going to gag.

If you want to say, “Hey, I donate to this charity, and I think it’s a really great cause!” Go ahead! That’s helpful. That helps bring attention to something other people can join in on.

If you want to say, “I am so excited that I graduated from college, I worked so hard for this and I can’t believe this day is really here!” Yes! You have earned it and that is perfectly okay to share your happiness with the people who care about you! Ditto for getting married, buying a house, having a baby, or any other significant life events.

However, if you want to go on Facebook, or any other forum where most of the people you are interacting with are people you barely know in real life, and say, “I saved this guy’s life, he is so lucky I was nearby!” or even, “I paid for a stranger’s coffee in line behind me because I just like to help others, what a rush!” then you are a douche. Pardon the language, but really! You should do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not because you want attention for it!

As you may have guessed, this opinionated insight was sparked by something I read. It was a story about finding a man walking home in the cold, and giving him a ride. But the story didn’t stop there. It went on to describe what the man’s house look liked inside (cluttered a la the tv show Hoarders), what the man smelled like (stinky), the mental health problems he had (talking to himself). All in all, I felt like the story spent a great deal of time describing the shortcomings of the helpee and implying that the helper was some sort of great gift from God. Wow, you went  and got him groceries? That’s so great of you! How thoughtful! Nevermind that you don’t know anything about him besides what you can readily observe. The helper took it upon himself to go and “fix” someone because he found something wrong with them, and there is nothing kind or loving about that. Do I think he shouldn’t have given him a ride home, or shouldn’t have gotten him some groceries? No, I think it’s great that the helper did those things. However, for me, the bragging and the condescension that the helpee was treated with (which the helpee is not even privy to) almost overshadows the help.

The comments his friends made were almost worse. “You’re a hero, you’re an angel, I’m privileged to know you.”

This blog is mostly about makeup, beauty, and self-esteem. It is not about religion. However, I come from a religious background and I cannot help but be reminded of Matthew chapter 6, verses 1 through 8.

[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise you will have no heavenly recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

When you pray, do not be like hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

The best people I know are humble. They do the right thing because it’s what is right- not because of what other people will think of them afterwards. True heroes live and breathe service and they NEVER brag about their deeds.

I cannot think of a better example of heroism than the 9/11 firefighters. They knew, to some extent, the risk they were taking going into that building. That’s something they volunteered for, something they would be willing to do any day. It takes true greatness to be willing to lay down your life for others, as Christ did, as firefighters do, as police do, and as our men and women in uniform do. As Aitzaz Hasan did. This young man laid down his life for his friends, and if there were more people like him, the world would be a better place.

Those are real heroes, and they don’t even realize it. They’re just doing what they believe they should. If you bought a coffee for someone, or even some groceries, or gave someone a ride, you are a nice person. But you are NOT a hero. You are doing the bare minimum that we should all strive for everyday.


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