I guess things I can't tell people
I dropped off a invincible squeaky toy at a friend's house, for her dog who is notorious for demolishing squeakers. I wanted that to be today's act of kindness I didn't tell others about. Honestly I felt somewhat conflicted about writing about it here, and I ended up with the cope that no one reads this and so it's essentially just a journal to myself. That being said, you should have seen how funny it was! I left the toy on their doorstep and knocked and walked away. On it I had a paper saying it was for the dog. When he opened the door, he was so confused – he just went “Hello? What? Who's there? Huh?” and just stood outside for a few seconds trying to figure out what happened. He eventually took the toy in, and I really hope Sadie enjoys it.
I felt good doing something for no validation or reward. But at the same I realized how it was still performative. I mentally couldn't get rid of the thought of him telling her mom, who tells her, who figures out it's me. It feels like a kind act becomes a convoluted plot to get admiration or respect through proxy, all while seeming humble about it. I'd like to hope this outlandish plot doesn't unfold, as I want to be able to do nice things without there being an alterior motive. But damn, I want the reward.
I thought about this too, some things I wanted to start doing this year were things like taking care of gravestones of random people, and voulenteering at a place to help the homeless. A significant part of me wants to do these as part of my gentle protest, but at the same time a small part of me hopes it eventually gets revealed somehow and people recognize how “selfless” I am. It honestly feels pretty sickening to myself that I even think that, and even worse part of me wants to avoid doing it to avoid indulging into that weird fantasy.
It's the same weird feeling as donating to a charity anonymously. Even if I had the finances to be able to do that, the idea of having zero way to prove you did something nice feels bad to me. I love the idea of donating under an alias, but that's because eventually you could show the alias is you and cash in all those kind acts. I feel like this proves to me how corrupt I am. But that being said, I don't feel corrupt when I do my small acts of kindness, where I'm truly not expecting any sort of reward or recognition for it. My line on this is blurry, and I hope I can smudge it over time to the place I want it to be, as lord knows we could use more kindness.
I'd like to be a kind person, but sometimes I don't exactly get where I end and where who I want to be seen as begins.