top of page
  • Writer's pictureSweta Patel

Sharing Acts of Good: Reflecting on Intentions

Rory speaks. Sweta writes. How one addict's story raises questions for reflection for any one of us.

Rory talks about doing good... to share or not to share?


For the past five years, Rory has been a guest speaker in my classes. At the end of motivational talks, I always prompt my students to write letters to our speakers. I'll look around to heads bent over loose-leaf paper, pencils racing to capture a rush of thoughts. I finally call time so they won't be late for their next class.

I was surprised when Rory mentioned he tosses the letters. His reason struck me: "I worry about holding on to them because I know I'll read them again and again and think, 'Oh, look at what these kids said about me.' I can't do that. Because the second I get there, I grow wings. I sometimes say to the guys at AA, 'Ego stands for Edging God Out.' It becomes about melook at me and look at what I did. No, I've got to stay with my two feet on the ground."

With social media, it has become so easy to share our everyday movements with the world. Rory asks us to consider our intentions when we post and share good deeds. Are we pointing the attention towards us, edging the good out, or are we giving attention to the good itself, wanting to inspire others? Or is it even necessary to post this time? Sometimes, just knowing you did it is enough.

Earlier this year, while Rory was working on a flip house, he would watch the lady next door wheel her son into her minivan every morning and struggle. She introduced him to her son, and he got started on building a ramp on the condition that he remain anonymous. To Lilly, Rory's wife, the condition felt selfish. Sharing the good deed might encourage others to pay it forward too.

In the end, he agreed to an anonymous description on a Rochester, MN Facebook group page. The post received thousands of views, and when someone asked about raising donations for the person who built the ramp, another replied: "While your thought is great, the best way to honor this man is to pass it on. We don't all have to build ramps, but we can do something good for someone else every single day."


For All of Us: The next time you do good, make a conscious choice to share or not to share. Consider the intention: Are we highlighting ourselves or the kindness itself? Sometimes, just knowing you did it is enough.

74 views0 comments


bottom of page