I was hungry when I left my office cubicle. By the time, I ran to the bus and got a seat, I was starving. I had a box of rusk with me which I opened and started munching. Etiquette told me that I should offer it to my (unknown) colleague sitting right beside me. But something within me was stopping me. I was not sure if I was embarrassed or if the person listening to iPod was stopping me but I sure wanted to. A part of me was stopping me from even starting the conversation with the unknown person while another part was urging me to the good deed.
Just a few days ago, when I was sitting in the same bus with another (unknown) colleague, I found it so easy to ask if Sachin had got to his momentous 200, but now, when I wanted to do a good deed, it was such a humongous task. Simple words – “Would you like to have some…?” But the words just wouldn’t come, even though I knew the other person would politely refuse! I tried and tried, I mentally spoke but physically it just wouldn’t come out! I finally felt so guilty eating all by myself, that I took the direct approach: I stopped thinking and blurted out the question. As expected, the person politely refused. Phew! What a relief to just ask and be rid of the guilty conscience!
Why is it so difficult to do a good deed? Why do we feel embarrassed?
Then I remembered Trevor McKinney in Pay It Forward. A simple story of doing 3 good deeds, and how the world gets transformed…