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This is probably the fifth or sixth post that I have started now on the topic of motives.  I think our motivation for the things we do is often as important if not more important than what we actually do.  Motivation, I think, can become complex, and maybe this is why I have so many unfinished drafts on the topic.

I will try to keep this brief and to the point by focusing on a recent personal experience.  Someone that I know fairly well and that I admire is going through a serious medical challenge.  This has been challenging for his whole family as I think it would be for anyone.

I am truly saddened by the difficulty that they face, especially this family’s children.  Out of a desire to do something to help, I offered to bring a pizza for their dinner tonight, which they graciously accepted.  I use this personal example not to show how wonderful I am, but on the contrary, to highlight how I believe that even sincere service is often given at least in part from a selfish perspective.

It is true that I had a sincere desire to help.  However, I suggested the pizza at least in part because it was an easy solution to my desire to do something.  And although the pizza may be helpful for the family, I am quite sure their needs go far beyond a quick meal.

If I really cared, wouldn’t I make a greater personal investment in really meeting their needs rather than selecting the most convenient solution for me?  Was I more concerned about helping someone or about satisfying my own need?

Like I mentioned, motives are complicated, and I think various motives are often at play for any given action.  Rather than congratulate myself for doing a good deed, in the future, I hope that I can more generously and selflessly give of myself to help those in need.