How many times have you done something for someone only to have them not notice or say anything? At first you’re confused thinking, “did they really not see or care?” Then it feels more like sadness or hurt that they didn’t say anything and you start questioning if you should have done it at all, if it was worth doing it at all because apparently it wasn’t a big deal to this person. So we spiral down this thought path and start to question why we did it in the first place.
“It took a lot of time and effort to do! I thought they’d be grateful I did that. I wanted to do it because it was bothering me for a long time and I figured it must bother __________ too but I guess not. I can’t believe they didn’t say anything! Why did I even bother? I just wasted x amount of hours of my time when I could have been doing ___________ instead. I don’t even know why I did it. Next time I won’t do this for sure.”
In the act of service though our thoughts are generally much different. They’re focused on the service itself, that the job needs to be done, that it feels so good to be doing this or accomplishing this task. Yes, there’s thoughts that so and so is going to be so surprised and proud, “I can’t wait until they see what I’ve done.” But they weren’t the ONLY reason you went about the task most of the time – and even if they were their reaction doesn’t change the value of the act of service you rendered.
I love this quote from John Lennon. He says,
“When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”
When we give service and do “noble and beautiful” things how others react to it doesn’t diminish the value of the service. Just because people sleep the day away doesn’t finish the greatness of the sun or the fact of our dependency on it. The sun shines and gives life to all and is not contingent upon our reaction to it, it shines and gives life to all as a reminder of Heavenly Father’s UNCONDITIONAL love for each of us.
One of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa says,
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
You noble acts of service are always seen, recognized, and celebrated. It doesn’t matter if the imperfect human being doesn’t see or acknowledge the kind service you rendered or the thought that went into it, God sees it. He’s grateful and loves what you’re doing. Give the best you have. Show up as your best self. The good you do will not be forgotten or go unnoticed.
Continue to serve. Continue to love and do good. All good things come from God. Be kind and loving not because you want the praise of being kind and loving but because that’s who you are. Likewise continue to be kind and loving even when it goes unnoticed by others here on earth because that’s the kind of person you want to be.
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