Sometimes doing a good deed is harder than not doing it. I get that, and I’m not being sarcastic. We only have so much juice, and sometimes we just don’t have enough to get through all our responsibilities and still have enough left over for good deeds with high costs.
Sometimes though, people find themselves working extra, extra hard just to avoid a good deed! The good deed is actually the easiest path, and yet people avoid it. But if a high cost is a viable reason not to do a good deed on occasion, then surely we’re hypocrites if we don’t let high costs steer us towards good deeds when it works out that way!
None of my children have slept in a crib for about two years now. But I still had (until yesterday) a very nice one in just about perfect condition. It was tucked away in a corner and not in the way, so it was a low priority to do anything about it. Finally yesterday I got around to disassembling it and, with passing curiosity, looked up resale rates.
Baby stuff tends to resell very well, and from my research, I could have gotten between two and three hundred bucks for it. Instead, I packaged it up neatly with all the hardware and put it on the curb, and posted a “curb alert” in my local Facebook group.
Giving it away to someone who needed it was way easier than selling it. Selling it would have involved making posts or loading it into my car or any number of other hassles I just didn’t have time for. Giving it away was a good deed, and in this case, much easier.
People are more responsive to the pain of loss than the pain of foregone gains. I’m no exception. Pulling two hundred dollars out of my wallet and giving it to someone would have felt much more of a sacrifice than just giving something away that I could have sold for the same amount. This is a flaw in human reasoning, but I truly believe that when known flaws in human reasoning can be harnessed for good, we should just lean into it. Today, that meant painlessly giving a crib to an incredibly nice lady who came to my door and thanked me so much on behalf of her daughter, who is a brand new mom.
I said, “No problem whatsoever,” because it really wasn’t.