No good deed goes unpunished

One of the more satirical quotes came from well-known satirical author, Oscar Wilde – no good deed shall go unpunished. It has been shortened to the above title, which is how I first heard it. Obviously, one would hope a good deed would be well-received by the intended audience(s). Yet, that is not always the case.

What do I mean by that? Have you ever singled out someone in an email or public setting for a job well done. And, then you are approached by others who felt slighted that you failed to mention their efforts. Should you highlight a group, the ones who feel they did the most are frustrated they did not get more credit.

Have you ever promoted someone and things are going fine until the person realizes someone else was promoted at the same time? The person feels he or she is superior to the other person and should have gotten the promotion first. So, what started out well, ends poorly, in the eyes of the first recipient.

Have you ever spent extravagantly on a first child, not realizing you may have been setting up a precedent for other children? Then, you feel guilty for not spending as much on the second and third children. Or, as prices rise, maybe you spend more on the third child and the first child feels left slighted.

Have you ever donated too much of your budget to several charities and then a friend asks you to support one of his or hers? And, you can only donate a small stipend, so you end up offending someone?

Life is full of opportunities to feel guilty over things that you should not feel guilty about. All of the above can be explained away, yet we are made to feel guilty as we did not do good enough in the eyes of others. I can confess to having each of the above circumstances happen to me. I am sure they have happened to others. I spoke to each of the folks who felt offended to explain myself.

What situations have happened to you? Did you feel more guilty than you should have?