Two hundred and seventy-eight

Tea parties, Paddington Bear and tree ornament crafts!

Is doing something you love and get as much out of as the receiver considered a good deed?  Are you doing it for yourself or for them?  Does it matter?

I’ve had many a debate with an on-again, off-again friend of mine about whether it can be both something you do to help someone else (doing it for them) and something that makes you happy (so doing it for yourself as well).  He argues that people only do things for their own benefit and that we are an inherently selfish species.  I argue the opposite.  Probably why he’s an “on-again, off-again” friend  – who really wants someone around who every time you think they are doing something nice, you find out quickly it’s because they want something from you?  (This is a huge debate that I will delve into a lot more over this month…)

My cousin Josie is 5 years old.  She goes to junior kindergarten and is so smart and fun and I love to play games and do crafts with her.  While visiting my family in Ohio, Josie and I had tea parties, crafted fantastic Christmas tree ornaments to give everyone, and made “beurre d’arachide au chocolat” (peanut butter chocolate cups – she loves French things).  We read Ivy + Bean chapter books with Auntie Lulu and mom and dad, drew portraits of each other to put on our fridges, and played dress-up with Hannah Montana wigs and Glinda the Good Witch gowns.  We laughed and ran around until we were exhausted.  We had so much fun.

This is where the debate comes in.  Was this a good deed?  I’m sure every parent loves to have someone around to have fun with their child.  But I had fun too.  And I wanted to do all of those things.  Who wouldn’t want to wear a blond wig while sipping “tea” (water) out of miniature pink teacups sitting next to Paddington Bear?

I’d rather think of it more as a mutually beneficial deed, where all involved got something out of it, but we all helped each other as well.  Good deeds all around.

Note to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Colleen: Sorry I didn’t get a chance to come over and clean your house as my good deed.  I was too busy having fun with Josie!