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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Thankless Deed

In honor of November, the Thanksgiving month, I'm thinking of  THE THANKLESS DEED.  That phrase has been sticking in my head lately.  I heard it the first time years ago by my first life mentor.  "Helen, don't forget, the most important deed you can do is the Thankless Deed".  (Thanks, Bill)
   When I say, THE THANKLESS DEED, what's the first thing that comes into your head?  One of my co-workers responded, "...when I bring flowers home to my wife for no reason, but my wife's response is usually, "Ok, what did you do??". 
   My daughter instantly responded with, "That's easy!  Being a mom.  It's the million little things you do that nobody notices, but if you didn't do them, they'd notice".  (You can see lots more of her wisdom at her blog,     
   My favorite thankless deed memory was a Christmas Eve night when I was just a kid; parking a block down the street from someone's house; (strangers to us) sneaking in the dark up onto their porch with my folks and placing a sack full of food and presents on their porch.  We knocked on the door and then ran for all we were worth before the people inside answered the door.  That's one of the few really fond memories I have of my parents.
   So, the thankless deed is something you do, expecting nothing in return.  Right?  But do we really get nothing in return?  My daughter is getting some great kids and the love of her family. 
   I was a recipient of a profound thankless deed when I was 5 years old.  I come from a musical background.  Both of my parents were talented musicians and back in the 50's, they used to have jam sessions at our house.  Professional musicians would come from all over town.  We lived in an upper middle class, all white neighborhood so the African American musicians had to be smuggled in.  (How sad is that??)  Anyway, you'd think you were in a concert hall.  There would be a drum set, a bass fiddle, a piano, several horns and even once there was a vibraphone.
   The wonderful music that came out of those nights is what made me fall in love with music and eventually become a professional singer.  One night, one of the older (black) musicians noticed my interest and let me sit next to him on the piano bench and watch him play.  I was enthralled.  The next day, he came back to the house and spent a couple hours with me, teaching me scales and chords and worked with me until I had a whole song memorized.  He didn't have to do that, but his love of music led him to the thankless deed which, in turn, led me to a career path and a love of music I've carried all my life.  Thankless???  Well, here it is 55 years later and I'm still talking about him. (Thank you, Herman)  
   Make no mistake.  The thankless deed is an event that starts in motion, all the right energy.  We are all made up of energy...cosmic stuff, and what we do affects everything else and everyONE else....everywhere.  NEVER think your actions don't have an impact because they ALWAYS do.    
   Have you ever been involved in a thankless deed that made a difference in your life, either on the giving or receiving end?  I would love to hear about it.

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