Give Everything. Expect Nothing.

“And then I realized how many stupid times a day I use the word ‘I.’”

During her princess-acceptance speech, Mia Thermapolis explains that she is ready for her leading role because she has realized that she is not the only person that matters. I believe we can all benefit from understanding this young heir’s discovery.

Today, I got a wake-up call. This morning, the priest at the mass I attended gave a wonderful homily about fasting, and I found the message very convicting. His main point was that, during Lent, a lot of us fast for ourselves instead of Jesus. He explained that many give up a certain food or drink in order to lose weight before Easter. We try to convince ourselves that we are doing good for others when we are really just helping ourselves.

For years, I have been convincing myself that I have been living my life for others. I have dedicated many hours to various service projects. At home, I would clean the house before my parents came home from work, so they wouldn’t have to do it. I have donated many articles of clothing. I have sent people letters and random text messages to let them know I was thinking about them. However, many of these things have not truly been for others. To be perfectly honest, I would clean the house for the purpose of being thanked, I would donate only used clothes that I no longer liked, and I got upset every time I sent a note and did not get a grateful response.

Today was exactly what I needed to get my life back on track. I should not act with kindness to receive kindness back. Whether I am having a terrible day or a joyous day, I need to learn to hold a door open for someone without expecting a thank you, I need to smile without anticipating one in return, and I need to give my time without awaiting a favor. On the other hand, I need to say thank you every time a gracious act is done for me and to pass the kindness onto others.

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