Good deeds sometimes seem to lead to trouble

Act of kindness: Sometimes doing the right thing, like giving blood, can seem to backfire, but it’s just an illusion.Many years ago, my dad fell seriously ill and went into the hospital. As he neared the time of discharge, my brother Bob bought Dad a huge TV to welcome him home.

The delivery people declined to carry the television upstairs, saying it was so heavy that they needed more guys to help them with it. They said they would return right after the weekend.

However, dad was coming home that weekend, and my brother wanted to surprise him with the television already in place and operating.

So my brother cajoled me into helping him do the lifting.

There was enough room on the stairs for one person above and one person below the TV. I chose above because I thought that would be safer. I was wrong.

We lifted one step at a time. The twisting movement I made as I lifted injured something in my back that has caused me trouble off and on for decades.

My conclusion: No good deed goes unpunished.

Later, I meta psychologist while playing sports.

She told me that she had taken an abused girl into her home to live with her, and the girl had stolen family-heirloomjewellery from her.

The psychologist never saw the stolen items again. My conclusion: No good deed goes unpunished.

A few years ago, one of my teaching assistants, while on an early-morning drive with two friends, collided with a kangaroo.

The three women stopped and wrapped the injured and dazed kangaroo in a coat and started to transport it to an animal rescue person.

While on the way, the roo came to life and started thrashing. The roo kicked the driver, bled all over the interior of the car and cracked a window before being released. A good deed gone awry.

Recently, I watched a brave friend of mine donate wholeblood for the first time, helping to save the life of individuals she will never meet.

She donated the blood quickly and looked fairly solidas sheate one of the delicious bikkiesfordonors. Then her blood pressure dropped, shebecame faint,and shevomited.

You may have your own examples of “no good deed goes unpunished”.

The “no good deeds”idea seemstrue to us because we have a evolutionarybias toward paying attention to harmful events. Those are events from which we must learn if we want to survive.

We ignore our many good deeds that do not lead to harm.

For instance, recently, I donated bloodplasma. At work, I advised a psychology graduate about how to reach her career goal, and I reviewed a manuscript on cannabis concentrates for a research journal.

There were no disasters in any of that.

The truth is that actions tend to have risks, whether we have pro-socialintentions or not.

There is no justice of the universe that prevents us from experiencing ruin when we act out of kindness. Some individuals drown while trying to save another personwho is going under.

It is the very risks of doing these good deeds that can help make the deeds so admirable.

John Malouff is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of New England, Armidale.

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