Actions Are More Important Than Feelings

Good deeds can start in your head, as well as in your heart. However, if they stay in either your heart or your head, and don't lead further to an action, they don't really exist. Feeling sad or caring or loving or having sympathy—they don't really count as bona fide caring, compared to trying to do something.

I mentioned a few weeks ago, in my comments here, that I put together a list of twelve secret behaviors several years ago.  They are behaviors you can do, and which, if you will conscientiously do them, will make a BIG difference in the world around you. So, the second one on my list is this: Actions are more important than care and kind feelings.

Some people have said to me, “Well, you know, I don't really feel much, and I don't have many emotional responses to people’s distress.”

Well, that that's an honest, legitimate condition that some people have more than others, but feelings are not a necessary ingredient to doing something good. For example, if you see somebody's bleeding, you know that they need some help. You use your head. You can see it; you can observe it; and you can do something, regardless of how you feel about it.

So you don't have to feel for people, but you do have to act for people. If you go into a store, and there's a clerk and there's a line waiting for help, you probably have no feelings about the clerk. It’s just a person up there, and you don't know that the clerk needs something. BUT . . . your brain can tell you that she is a human being, a young woman, probably a mother, and probably has kids at home. Your brain can say to you, "I'll bet a word of appreciation or encouragement will lift her spirits." You don’t have to feel for her—you just have to think about it, and decide to give her a gift of some sort.

You can do that! It doesn't take any special skill; it doesn't require any preparation; it doesn't take much time—it only takes a mental decision to do something kind for another person while you are out and about your business.