Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post – Selfless Good Deeds: Fact or Fiction

I had an interesting conversation with a friend this week – It was pretty funny and I think it had a larger point..  KJ #CoSigned. So, I asked her to put it into a post to share with everyone this week.. Enjoy!

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Some food for thought:::

I’m attending a spinning event this Friday to raise money and bring awareness to the Family Reach Foundation. To be honest, I’m not entirely looking forward to it because we’ll be spinning for 3 hours straight, I don’t currently have padded bike shorts and I keep having flashbacks to the only other time I’ve attended a spinning class.

Last year, the man, the myth, the legend – Kupah James, invited me to a spin event for a new spinning club that opened up in Canton where he DJ’ed during a 1 hour class. I finally agreed 10 minutes before he left and at the end of it I was thrilled that I went and had a great time. But, I was not amazing at spinning, and I’m one of those annoying competitive people that prefer to succeed from the get go. (And, spinning hurts..)

In thinking about this I was wrestling with my perspective because obviously this is an amazing event for an incredible organization, but why didn’t I just donate money and leave it at that? I then recalled the episode of Friends in season 5: The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS and her debate with Joey about the existence of selfless good deeds.

I love the company I work for and we participate in a lot of events during the course of the year which all are tied to various charitable endeavors. They also almost all require physical activity – cycling, spinning, running, walking, triathlon-ing. The majority of my coworkers bike, walk or run to work from the suburbs and are highly competitive, athletically endowed individuals. For those of us that are not, we tend to get very nervous beforehand and then go back and do it again and again.

Understanding that “good deed” doesn’t always mean charity – but, as an example for the larger point, come on people why so nit-picky?

So what’s the deal – am I selfishly participating in this good deed, or is it selfless on account of the sacrifice from my energy, legs, competitive nature, embarrassment and functioning lady parts?

I can honestly say that it’s selfish for me. I’ll like being able to say I did this, I love that I exceeded my donation goal for funds raised & I get teary-eyed. In public. Whenever we talk about these organizations and learn how our impact was felt by individuals and families; It’s a great feeling.

Sorry Phoebs, Joey was right on this one. There are no selfless good deeds.

And for all of you that think you’re just a nicer person than I am and you selflessly help your friends out, pick up trash on the street when no one’s looking, whatever it is.. Let’s lay it all out there: 1 of the following are always true.

  1. It’s a great feeling to think that you’ve helped even in a small way for any cause/friend/environmental impact.
  2. And, if you’re that cold-hearted or cynical that you don’t believe in humanity – even a philanthropic millionaire who you’d assume just donates $$ for the write off or the appearance, gets the good reputation and the write off. ((Bragging rights or favors to hold against your friends))
  3. Or, as my scientist coworkers might say: it’s science. They get you to run, walk or bike for a cause the endorphins literally make you euphoric.

Selfish doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. By taking care of YOU or making YOU feel good,  you’re a better person to be around, you’re a better worker, a better friend, a better citizen and you can make a bigger impact on the world you live in.

– SP

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BACKGROUND:

For those of you who aren’t able to remember and quote every line of every episode of Friends.

Joey is participating in a telethon with PBS; Phoebe hates PBS because she used to watch Sesame Street as a kid and when her mom died she wrote them a letter to a less than satisfactory response. She accuses Joey of selfishness that appears as a good deed, because he wants to be on TV. Joey then claims there is no selfless good deed – Phoebe thinks birthing her brothers triplets was selfless and Joey calls her out because she felt great about doing that for her brother and loves the triplets.

My favorite way Phoebe tried to prove her point: She lets a bee sting her. “The bee gets to look tough in front of his bee friends and I am definitely not happy about it.” Joey replies, “You know the bee probably died right afterwards?”

“Because she fails at all her attempts, she decides to donate $200 to PBS, because “they bring happiness to lots of kids whose moms didn’t kill themselves”, and she won the bet. However, this donations leads to Joey being the volunteer which broke last year’s record, so he finally gets on TV; which makes Phoebe happy. (source)”