“He who expects no gratitude shall never be disappointed,” read my Dad’s fortune cookie fortune after he smashed his cookie to smithereens on the table. My mom, my dad, and I sat at a Chinese restaurant a couple years ago while my dad cracked open that fortune. I agree with it wholeheartedly. Another quote by an unknown author states that, “There is no limit to what can be done if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”
I identify with this belief because I think that too many people do good things expecting pats on the back and high fives. At the first meeting for a charity organization that I participate in, one of the mothers asked us all why we wanted to join. Only silence accompanied our pondering before a girl blurted out, “Well, doing charity in this group looks really good on a college application, right?” The girl’s assumption could not have been more correct; being in this group looks great, however, your college application is not a good reason to join a charity group. In the first meeting, that girl had already looked at what she would be doing, and what she would get in return. It is better to do a good deed expecting no credit. This shows more about a person because they have no expectations of gratification for their services.
I try to not care about who gets the credit for things, because when one stops caring about recognition, one can focus on what is more important, the work being done. When recognition is no longer a goal, doors fly open left and right, unlocking rooms of opportunities for one to show oneself how great a person one can be, without needing to tell others.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.