Sometimes I daydream about doing something really charitable or nice that makes a really big impact on the world. It’s hard to do that without envisioning the praise I would receive.
It is a weird world we live in. I get on Twitter a decent amount, probably too much. A common theme on Twitter is someone being disgusted with someone else because of their behavior or something they said. As if the accuser is a much better person. As if the accuser would never dream of thinking or expressing something wrong.
I don’t shout people down on Twitter. I do in my head but never hit “send”. I imagine placing someone else extremely low on the moral scale temporarily feels pretty good.
Conversely, I often see tweets like, “one of the best guys around”, or “just an amazing person.” I’m sure there are some amazing people out there. But it’s funny how quickly we judge if a person is generous or “a great guy” or just terrible or whatever. There is a moral scale that is very easy to place people on in a moment.
Chris Long is a football player. He donated his whole salary to charity. He gets endless praise. I’m sure he’s great. Maybe he doesn’t even want the praise. But he is marked as an amazing person.
Whether good or bad, everyone’s actions are in the limelight, especially on Twitter. If you take a stand against someone everyone hates and it gets 50k retweets you are heralded for putting them in their place. For standing up for what’s right.
Everything is public. We shoot people down in public. We take credit in public. Other’s perception of us is everything.
I recently listened to a podcast talking about an interesting concept. What if the “true good works” being done in the world are the ones we will never hear about? What if the people out there not taking credit or being noticed are the ones living the best lives?
I think doing small things and seeking no credit for them, even in the most subtle ways, could be something worth striving for. Maybe we grow spiritually or emotionally or whatever when we do great stuff for others and go out of our way to not let anyone know.
Maybe if we do that enough times in a row it becomes a habit and we begin to change our hearts and our view of the world. Maybe.