It’s not enough to do good; one must do it in a good way.” Marquis de Condorcet
I think it’s safe to say that a goal of most people is to do something good along the way. It is the way most of us were raised to behave. A few years into adulthood many people begin to realize that it just feels good to help others. In a way, doing good becomes a kind of selfish act…we’re not doing it so much for someone else but rather for how it makes us feel. That feeling, in and of itself, is a lovely reward. Some believe that doing good will get them to heaven…that’s fine as long as they keep it to themselves. Unfortunately, some people do good works just to impress others and make a name for themselves in their community. They get pleasure out of others recognizing their generosity. In these cases, they’re doing good things but not for the right reasons.
The highest form of kindness is an altruistic act that is done anonymously. But that is not the only way to do good. The next best way of being altruistic is by ensuring there’s no fanfare associated with your giving, or acts of kindness…and you receive no direct benefit from it. I make an exception to these two rules when I believe my actions shine a light on a greater cause…and that others might follow my lead, especially if they respect me. Ultimately however, your needs should at the very most, be secondary – that’s the minimum prerequisite for doing good things in a good way.