Or at least in the way you’d expect…
For everything that happens to us, good or bad, we find it comforting to have a reason for why that thing happened. Sometimes, we are more comfortable making up a reason than accepting the fact that we don’t have one.
For example, I don’t fully believe in Karma, and I don’t have any strong religious beliefs. I see bad things happen to the best people, and good things happen to the worst. When someone does us wrong, we might say things like “karma is a b*tch” because it is comforting to think that they will be punished for their wrongdoing, but in reality, there is no guarantee that they will be punished by some higher force.
We may also do the right things out of fear of bad things happening — like getting caught. For example, as a kid, when walking my dog, I might have picked up his sh*t because I didn’t want the neighbors to witness my lack of respect.
Now as an adult, I realize that I should clean up after my dog, not because I fear getting caught, but that it would be really sh*tty (no pun intended?) if someone stepped in it.
Absolutely no one is going to praise me for this small and expected act. It’s simply the right thing to do, and I don’t need or expect anything in return (except for my neighbors picking up after their dogs in return? Haha I won’t hold my breath).
This is only one very minor example of a situation where you could choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing. We make decisions like this every day! Like giving up your seat on public transportation, adequately tipping your server/delivery person (there’s no place in this world for people who don’t), holding the door for someone who has their hands full, and more. Sometimes you might get a quick “thank you” and sometimes not. That’s okay!
Your real reward is the ability to go to bed knowing that you were not an a** hole. It’s a very intrinsic reward. We often forget that our lives are not always one big show for everyone else to see. Instead, YOU are your most loyal fan, so make sure to keep yourself proud.