I don’t actually believe that title above, but I also don’t believe that people are rewarded in a karmic way for good deeds.
For example, last night as I waited for the BART train home, I heard a woman crying on the other side of the platform. She had been clipped by a car door as she was riding her bicycle and had hit the pavement pretty hard. She was shaken up and at least somewhat disorientated because she was waiting alongside the wrong set of tracks if she wanted to go to the East Bay, which was where I was going.
I wasn’t in a rush, so I walked over to see if there was any way I could help her. Knowing how crappy it feels to eat it on a bike, I offered her my phone so she could call her aunt to pick her up at the station in Oakland, and then sat with her on the train until we got through the Transbay tunnel. While we rode the train, I asked her how she felt, gave her some suggestions on what to do to feel better, in addition to a tin of Tiger Balm I happened to have in my bag (one of the items I pack when I train Capoeira).
As we parted ways in West Oakland, she gave me a high-five in thanks, and I made my way down the stairs to head home. As I got out onto the road, something didn’t feel right. I looked down and noticed my back tire was flat. I didn’t have a repair kit, and my boyfriend wasn’t around to give me a ride, so I was faced with either waiting for a bus or hoofing it.
West Oakland isn’t the nicest neighborhood, but buses don’t come along that frequently either, so I chanced the walk home. And yes, I made it safely.
So, my point is, something “nice” didn’t happen for me because I did something kind. Nor was what happened particularly terrible, either, just inconvenient. And of course, these two situations are only coincidences and are not related in any way except for the space of time in which they happened.
But why did I help her? Because I know it sucks to get hurt like that and want to be in the comfort of your own home, but you’re not. And it makes me feel better to know that someone else might have been comforted by something that I did. And I think that doing something nice for someone else for no reason makes the world a less sucky place.