What’s in it for me?

Let us not dare to deny that we do things in our day-to-day life without thinking of how it affects us. ‘What’s in it for me’ is an underlying thought that we may or may not be aware of, but it happens, constantly.  Very few people don’t have these thoughts on a regular basis, but from time to time they will stop to think about the decisions they take and how it affects them.  So in the end, no one escapes this thought. It happens to each and every one of us, whether we want to admit it or not, whether we recognize it or not.  The recurrence and the intensity of this thought is what differentiates one person from the next. It’s the fine line between being selfish and plainly looking out for yourself.

Many times, in our lives; we get caught up with certain habits that either affect us negatively or positively. There is no in between really. It’s black or white. Is it good for you or is it not; period. And so is this hidden thought that we ask ourselves.    

No one is born with it; it’s a learned habit. How far we go with it is up to us. An effort must be made in order to shift the focus from thinking about oneself to thinking about others. 

For starters, we don’t want to get hurt, we don’t want to be taken advantage of, we don’t want to give and give and don’t get anything in return. And so we ask: what’s in it for me? Nothing wrong with it really. As long as you don’t take it overboard and start living your life by calculating everything you do, so that it will always benefit you in the end. That’s when you have crossed the line. 

Sometimes in life, you must give and not expect something back. Just give of yourself because you can, because it is the right thing to do, because you can make someone’s day. It’s priceless seeing a smile on someone’s face because of a little thing you do or say. It may not cost you much. It may be only by giving your smile or just a little of your time to make a difference in this world. What’s in it for you? It’s knowing that you can make someone happy, makes you feel useful and with a purpose. 

Why would I respect people around me? What’s in it for me?

Why would I help this person start up their business? What’s in it for me?

Why would I get up from my seat in the subway to let this elderly Man sit down? What’s in it for me?

Why would I be there for my friends time and time again? What’s in it for me?

Why would I put my life upside down trying to balance my own family and my aging parents who desperately need help? What’s in it for me?

Why would I call someone out of the blue to ask about their well being? What’s in it for me?

Why would I give way to the car next to me signaling to come into my lane? What’s in it for me?

Why would I help out my coworker with her work load if I finished mine first? What’s in it for me?

Why would I stop and go to the aid of a screaming lady on the street? What’s in it for me?

Why would I warn my employees that the company is going under and that its imperative to look for another job? What’s in it for me?

Why would I do what my partner wants me to do even though I don’t like it? What’s in it for me?

Why would I buy new clothes for my children and not for myself? What’s in it for me?

The list can go on and on and there are many more questions and examples I can provide. It’s a wide range of things that we are involved in day-to-day. It starts from yourself to your family to your friends to your coworkers to strangers on the road that you may interact with. Unfortunately, we have gotten so used to doing things with the expectation of some sort of reward. Not doing things just for the sake of doing it. In my examples I just listed above, you will find many of the answers are relating to being human, which nowadays almost rare to find. What’s in it for me if I did all those things I listed. Well, here are some answers: it’s the right thing to do, it’s being compassionate, it is considerate, it is being courteous, it’s applying “love” principles, it’s being a Good Samaritan, it’s applying the basics of the morals and values we were raised on, it’s paying forward the good that once was given to me. 

What happened to us? What happened to our morals and values? Do they even exist anymore? Are those basic principles lost in our lives. Are they even being taught to our children. Why have we become so selfish. Why have we stopped being good towards others just because. Why do we calculate the good that we do for others and if we don’t get it back immediately, we get upset and treat them differently. Why our intentions have become so unclean. So many why’s I ask because I don’t understand what happened to humanity. I am even sad to say that our relationship with God has become tainted by those same thoughts. Some people will do good deeds because they are expecting God to reward them with a particular thing. It’s like: “ok God, I will help this person with this and I’m sure you will see that I did good and give me what I need”. Are you kidding me? This is what we have reached to?? Unbelievable. 

I don’t know what to say really. I’m just baffled at the fact that people lost their humane side. We treat each other as prospects and opportunities. We do things for each other that in turn will benefit us somehow, someway. It’s like we are constantly doing business transactions. Some transactions you will end up losing all you put into it, some will give you hundred percent profit and some you break even. Isn’t that sad? And it all begins with one question: “what’s in it for me?”

On a bright note, there are still lots of decent people out there. They do exist and they are truly remarkable. There are people who are giving so much of themselves just to help others and make a difference. They give and they give and they seem to have no end to their giving. Their love supply seems to be endless. And that is because it comes from pure intentions; no hidden agendas, no personal gain. Let’s try to be more like those people who are givers. Let’s do more good deeds without expecting anything in return. Let’s be pure in our intentions. And naturally you will be rewarded as what goes around, comes around. Let’s find the balance between protecting ourselves from being used and stretching out our nature of loving and giving. Don’t be afraid to give even if you feel it won’t be noticed. Everything you do, everything you think about is noticed anyway by the one and only, God Almighty. God bless you all. 

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