June 02, 2005


You've done someone a big favor. Perhaps you have given someone a gift of money, or helped them find a job, or whatever, the important thing for this discussion is that you did them a favor. How important is it that they feel grateful to you? Is their happiness alone of value? Presuming they have said a nice "thank you", is that all that is necessary? Do you feel the right to put some strings on the gift? Or feel that if the gift isn't used in such and such a way that it is a slap in the face to you?

I really want your opinion.

Posted by Rachel Ann at June 2, 2005 04:40 PM

The problem is when you don't even get the "thank you". :-(

Posted by: Jim at June 3, 2005 04:00 PM

Without a doubt, if you put strings on whatever you do, you shouln't be doing it in the first place, not to mention setting yourself up for a disappointment.
Cast your bread upon the waters............

[....and what do you get? Soggy bread.]

And yeah, if you don't get even a thankyou, you might want to think twice next time.

Posted by: Ligneus at June 5, 2005 02:08 AM

We do a mitzvah because it should be done, not for the satisfaction. If we did it only for the thanks or the reward or the inner glow, we might not choose to do it next time. Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with a thank you, and it can make us feel better about the deed, it's just not a good idea to make that a litmus test for whether or not we act.

Great question.

Posted by: AbbaGav at June 6, 2005 02:16 PM

It's like loaning money to a friend. Don't. If a friend needs some money and you can give it to him/her, do it. Consider it, in your mind, as a gift. Then, if nothing is repaid it won't matter to you. And if you do get it back, it's a nice surprise. Also, if you think of it as a gift, it keeps the impulse to give more than you can afford down. Same thing for you here. Do it as a gift, if it comes back to you then it's nice.

Posted by: RP at June 6, 2005 03:03 PM
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