Chapel of Optimal Life

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EDITORIAL: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

It may be that Faith alone will earn a person's way into heaven, but being kind of heart and doing good deeds must also be a part of that process. When giving or sharing with others, it grows the faith within, and brings a person closer to God.

One of our primary duties here on earth is to spread the good word through pure living and peaceful coexistence. It would seem logical then, that we would be rewarded right here on earth for such deeds.

While that is the case, it's not always easy to see the long term consequences of our actions, good or otherwise.

No matter if a person does something with the best of intentions, there are times it seems that the immediate results of those actions are actually negative.

We have to manage our own limitations, our own hopes and expectations in order to dissipate the bad experiences. It's not always possible to give others everything they think they need. No matter how much a person gives, it is never truly enough.

It's important to remember that the ultimate results of anything one does can't always be determined immediately.

A couple had just finished eating dinner at a restaurant downtown, and she had leftovers to bring home. As they walked back toward the car there was a homeless woman lying on a street bench asking for money for food. Having a burger and fries that she didn't even know if she would finish later, the woman offered it to the homeless woman. The homeless woman then asked where it was from, what it had on it, and said she preferred chicken sandwiches.

There was an awkward moment when she didn't take the burger, and lay there as though the couple were supposed to get her a chicken sandwich instead. How and why people react the way they do isn't always easy to understand. They had expected the homeless woman to either respectfully accept or just say, "No thank you."

In the end she begrudgingly accepted the burger, but there was no fine thank you to it. In fact the couple felt worse because the woman had seemed so disappointed with it. It was a kind gesture, but not everyone reacts how we might expect or hope. The couple was no worse off for offering the food, and had done something from the goodness of their hearts. We've all experienced something similar, whether at work, in school, or at home.

These are the moments when you try to help out, and end up getting punished for something instead. A technie offered to contribute to a classmate's website. He could only volunteer a limited number of hours and when the deadline got closer, the classmate wanted him to work a lot more. Given his own schedule, it wasn't possible, and he even mentioned some other people he thought could help out. Rather than show any sort of appreciation for the techie's efforts, the classmate got mad that he couldn't do more.

We have to manage our own limitations, our own hopes and expectations in order to dissipate the bad experiences. It's not always possible to give others everything they think they need. No matter how much a person gives, it is never truly enough. In order to cope with the sense of falling short, it's very important to focus on the positive aspects. The couple provided a meal to someone in need; the techie helped his classmate have a better project and presentation. No, it wasn't the perfect meal for the homeless woman, and the classmate didn't get all of the bells and whistles he wanted. Yet, she was fed, and he got an "A" all the same.

While we don't expect to be punished for our good deeds, we also can't expect to be immediately rewarded or gratified. Through our caring and compassion we build character while learning to give and manage our own needs as well. Good deeds aren't about worldly rewards or punishment, they are meant to be a part of our nature; and no matter the outcome, we can learn and grow as we help someone else do the same.



Oh, Men

One day, a man came home and was greeted by his wife dressed in a very alluring nightie. "Tie me up," she purred, "and you can do anything you want."

So he tied her up and went golfing.


Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.


Once upon a time in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said: " Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me.

"One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so. "

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly saut´┐Żed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself: 'I don't think so'.

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