Why do good? 

It is easy to feel down when all we see is negative news about the state of the world. Some days, it seems like society is filled with nothing but self-interest and isolation. When a friend needs help, of course we'll be there for them! But it's harder to motivate ourselves to do good for strangers - for the benefit of other people we will never get the chance to meet.

I get it - when there's no direct reward or recognition, why go out of our way to do good? 

It's a fair question.

 I believe that doing good holds power that we underestimate. Acts of kindness or justice inspire and uplift people in unpredictable ways. It creates ripples of impact down the line. It can bring meaning and a sense of purpose into our lives.

We all have that natural capacity for compassion within us. In difficult times, we just have to intentionally seek out the reasons to do good - even when we receive nothing tangible in return. The reasons are there, if we shift our lens and look for them. 

Net Positive

It is easier to do bad than it is to do good. It is easier to look the other way, and avoid the hassle of helping someone. We should act good in spite of this, we should do good deeds because it is harder, and because we know internally that it is worth the extra effort required. 

We can ensure our own self-respect, one of the few things no one can ever take away from us, by knowing that while it is easier to do the wrong thing, we chose the harder path. 

We can get rid of that little voice in our heads, the one that says "hey, that wasn't the right thing to do” or “well you didn't need to be mean". 

It is easy to act solely in your own self-interest, but won't you feel better having helped someone else? Being able to rest easily in the knowledge that you did the right thing? 

Maybe we should consider that through helping others, we can still act in our own self-interest, except our interests are aligned with our moral code. 

I think it is our duty to leave the world better than it was when we entered it. I believe we should strive to help others in any way we can, because even one small act of kindness, can have unprecedented impact, creating ripples that inspire other acts of kindness, snowballing into a wonderful butterfly effect. 

When we do good, and act justly, we are left with an internal feeling of satisfaction. We are able to feel proud of ourselves, for acting in ways that we know are right. We get to rid ourselves of any guilt that comes from that little voice in our head, when we respect our moral responsibilities. We should remember this feeling each time we do a good deed, and seek it out by continuing to act rightly. 

More than Reciprocity

A lot of the time that we help people, even if it is not our primary cause, there is an element of expectation. Expectation that our help will be recognized, rewarded, or returned. 

When a friend or family member is hurting, we will naturally do what we can to help ease their pain, whether that that means sharing advice, or just providing a shoulder to cry on. We don't have that same expectation of reciprocity with someone close to us, we help them simply because we care about them. 

But why is it harder to help someone we don't know, someone we lack that connection with? 

Because we do not know them, it is easier to forget them, it is easier to convince ourselves that maybe they don't deserve our help, or maybe our input will not help at all. We also lose the element of reciprocity that can come with a relationship, this natural instinct to return the favor. 

I think there are reasons we should try to help people, even the strangers we don't know, even when we won't get to see the impact of our kindness. We get to walk away knowing that we did what we could, and there is honor in that. We can feel pride for doing the right thing, especially when it was not necessary. We must trust in the ripple effect, knowing that every good deed leaves an impact, even if unseen. 

Good Business

I don’t believe everyone’s purpose is to make doing good their job. But for those entrepreneurially-minded, ethical business can empower people. With the right values, companies can solve real problems and improve lives. Their priority is helping people through their products or services, and if they do it well, profit will be a byproduct. This money is how they can continue helping others, how they can scale to help more and more people in the future. 

Aiming to get financial freedom for your own life, by helping improve the lives of others, is a noble aim. If you want to start a business, to be an entrepreneur, creator, or an artist; you can solve peoples problems, and genuinely help people, while providing yourself a pathway to live your own life to the fullest. 

Not all businesses are build off of greed, but we often confuse the field, with a few bad apples. If your primary goal is to help people, what’s wrong with making money and gaining financial freedom along the way? 


Marcus Aurelius said "Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one."

We should have an internal outline of what it means to act justly, and which virtues we wish to present to the world. When we align our daily lives with our moral compass, we give ourselves a light through which to see our path in life. We give ourselves purpose. 

Nietzsche stated “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." 

Doing good gives us that why, helping others is as good a purpose as it gets, and it enables us to live our lives to the fullest, comforted by the knowledge we are doing what we can to make the world better, and improve the quality of life for the human race. 

Shift in Perspective

Doing good forces us to step outside of ourselves for moment, it makes us consider the world outside of our individual perspective. 

This is rare. 

You will spend almost all of your time in your own head, focused on your own life, thinking about your own problems. The moments when we can get away from this, when we can give ourselves a chance to practice empathy, compassion, and kindness; are a blessing. We widen our own perspective, and that is a wonderful opportunity that we shouldn't pass up. 

So why do good? 

Why put in the effort to help someone, if we aren't going to get any recognition or reward for it? 

We should do good because it is the right thing to do. We should do good because it not only improves others lives, but improves our own, and nourishes our self-trust, and our self-respect. 

We should do good because it aligns with our moral compass, and gets rid of the little voice of guilt in our head. We can stop asking the world to be better, and show the world what being better looks like. 

We should do good because even though we may not see all of the impacts, they are there. Creating ripple effects, allowing more kindness to flourish. 

It gives us a path, a purpose. 

It gives us meaning, and no one can ever stop us from pursuing this. 

We should choose to do good in spite of all the people that choose otherwise. In spite of all the evil that is in the world, we can choose to rise above it, and be better. 

Every day, we are given a choice. 

We get to decide who we will be today, and how we will act. 

Do not make this decision lightly.