Yesterday, the following question was posted on my Facebook page:
“Bob, a friend asked me what I think of the saying, ‘No good deed goes unpunished’. Interesting concept. What is your take on it?”
The saying itself is usually muttered in frustration after doing something genuinely nice and having it come back to hurt or harm you in some way.
It could be directly, as in someone you’ve helped then turning around and stealing from you. Or, it could be something totally circumstantial, such as driving someone to an appointment way out of your way and then getting a flat tire on the way back.
When these type of things happen there is a tendency to erroneously think of it as a matter of “cause and effect.”
Cause = Kind thing I did
Effect = Punishment
There is no indication it is anything more than “life just happens” kind of stuff. And, if one were to track it against all the times they did something good, they would see the percentage of times this happens is less than miniscule.
So, my take regarding why/how this phrase became popular? I think that, more than anything, it has to do with the fact that we as human beings desire to be able to “make sense out of life.”
Let’s face it; it’s very disconcerting to do a good deed and have something negative follow, either directly or indirectly. While this doesn’t usually happen, sometimes, it does. And, it seems to hurt extra because we did something pure and benevolent…and it jes’ ain’t fair!
Why did it happen? Who knows (other than our Creator)? It just did. And, again, because we feel it absolutely should not have, we try and make sense of it by saying something like, “no good deed goes unpunished.”
What do you think? Do I have this right? Am I missing something? Please feel share your thoughts and opinions.