I used to think that the best way to be a good person was to do good things and not take credit for them. Take ego out of the equation and anonymously help other people, improve the world, do your siblings’ chores, etc.
But I’m officially changing my stance on that philosophy. I say if you do something good, not only is it fine to tell other people, but it’s better to tell others than to keep the good deed to yourself.
I was thinking about this when I went to the Red Cross to donate blood the other day. It would have been very easy for me not to tell anyone that I gave blood that day. But instead, I checked in on FourSquare and broadcasted it on Twitter and Facebook.
My hope is that a few people saw that I gave blood and thought–even for a second–that they should give blood. I know a lot of people who are perfectly able to donate, but they simply aren’t willing. I don’t condemn those people, nor am I taking a holier-than-thou stance on blood donations, but I hope in some way that my actions give others permission to donate as well. Maybe inspire them. Maybe shame them a little.
If you keep your good deeds to yourself, you’re doing a disservice to the charities you care about, and you’re not giving your friends credit for the compassion you value in them. I almost wish there was a website where you could see the organizations to which your friends donate time and money (not necessarily the exact amount, but maybe tiered levels), and why they choose those organizations. I think a resource like that could make us all a little more generous, a little more altruistic.
What do you think? At the very least, can any harm come to broastcasting your altruism to the world?