Do you believe that no good deed goes unpunished?

I’ve heard that saying a lot. Sometimes, I believe it and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel that good deeds get rewarded in one way or another. Do you?

Example: I hired a man for a job because he had a family and needed work. I took extra time with him in training to make sure he did the job right. This took valuable time from my duties which I barely could spare. Some weeks later, behind my back, he complained to my boss that I was ‘not doing enough’ to help out the employees which got me in some mild trouble.

“Think of it as Evolution in action.”

Yeah, sometimes I believe the same thing. One election night about a year ago I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for my polling place. The one I was supposed to go to didn’t exist, or else it’s alleged address was a typo; the second one wouldn’t take me, so I went to the main office, which was crammed with people looking for their polling places. (It was the last time Oregon had any non-mail voting, so we were all whupped with the stupid stick that night.)

Anyway, there was this huge line, and I walked alongside the line, until I found an abandoned cheat sheet lying there on the little wall you have to stand in line next to. I looked at, realized it was only useful to people who knew their precinct number, and proceeded to dig around for my little voter card. I mentioned to a curious stranger in the line that it was probably exactly what somebody was looking for.

So then this guy interrupted. I assume this dude assumed I was an election official, since he started complaining to me about how much trouble he was having finding his polling place, and grabbed the little pamphlet out of my hand. So I now had no way to find my polling station except by looking over this bastard’s shoulder. Anyway, I got just what I deserved for suggesting that someone else might benefit from the little pamphlet.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

Life if full of these little ironies, it keeps you on your toes. Otherwise, the little irony will drop on your foot, and they can be hot if they’re plugged in.

No, I don’t believe this. Doing good is a perpetuating force that although it doesn’t mean that you won’t have negatives in your life (and sometimes seemingly as a result of your good acts) overall the effect on your own clean conscience, self esteem, etc will cause untold amounts of goodness in your own life. You will believe in yourself and that you do good, this will unhinder your spirit and let yourself soar!

I believe furthermore that you cannot escape your psyche. You can deny that your guilt gnaws away at you but it does and it will. The only way to avoid the pain of guilt and regret is to do more good than bad then when you do feel blue you can look at yourself in the mirror and say “All in all, I am a good guy”. I feel badly for the person who has no recourse to escape the pain of the ills they cause (and we all cause ill at sometime or another).


Oscar Wilde coined the term. You may already know that his wit borderlined sarcasm. When he said it, it was reflected by a sense that sometimes people go out of their way to help others, whom either didn’t want it or didn’t ask for it. As in, this is what I think you would like, so I’ll take it upon myself to do it for you.
In most liklyhood, the person was really helping himself and diguising it as helping someone else.

But is it true? Not exactly, but it’s about the most appropriate thing you can say when you’re stabbed in the back.

The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

I would suggest simply not looking for the correlation. Do good for the sake of doing good. Jerks do jerky things because they’re jerks, not because of anything you do or don’t do. Concentrate on the worthwhile, not on the scum, and perhaps you will come to agree with me that the scum is insignificant and irrelevant.

Bah. There is no “good”. Or “bad”.

There are only actions and consequences.

No, I’ve done good things and been rewarded, other times I’ve done good things and been punished (like the time I spoke up in someone’s defense and lost my place in a spelling bee. I was disappointed and it scarred my personality development for YEARS). I’ve also done lots of bad things that were punished, and bad things that, because they weren’t punished, were there own reward. Of course, I’m not too big a proponent of that whole good/bad thing. Too subjective.

We only notice the “punished” good deeds because of their irony. Good deeds that have the “expected” results go unnoticed and are shortly forgotten.

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.

That’s right. Everybody remembers (often in excruciating detail) the bad things, and the good things just get shoved into a corner of the brain labeled “things that probably happened but which I’m not going to remember because I believe them to be statistically unlikely” (along with Elvis sightings, bigfoot, and truth in advertising).