Doing good by doing good

Posted on August 23, 2011

“Doing good by doing good”

I heard this quote from Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsico, while watching one of her interviews. This quote reminded me of a story that I heard in a religious sermon. The purpose of the story is to provide some context to what doing good is.

Once upon a time a king ordered three of his subjects, Tom, Dick and Harry to bring him a basket of fruit.

Tom did not understand why the king who had everything, wanted a basket of fruit from him. He started reasoning with himself that the king was playful and so it did not matter what he brought to the king. He convinced himself that the king will not eat from his fruit basket and so there was no reason for him to spend a lot of time finding the fruit. So, Tom filled his basket with stones and covered it neatly.

Dick has the same thought that Tom had but Dick was not as smart as Tom. So, Dick filled the basket with rotten fruit and whatever fruit that he could easily find.

Harry also had the same thought that Tom and Dick had. He did not understand why the king wanted a basket of fruit from him. Being a “Do-Gooder” at heart, Harry picked the most delicious fruits that he could find and filled the basket.

All three of them presented their baskets to the king. All three baskets were covered neatly. The king ordered that Tom, Dick and Harry be locked up in separate rooms. Each of them were given their fruit baskets and asked to survive for a week with the fruits they brought.

So, who do you think did good? No points for guessing right. Yes, it was the do-gooder Harry that did good.

Moral of the story is that most of the time we do not understand how doing good deeds will help us. We also know that doing good deeds is not easy. We also find out that doing good deeds does not give immediate benefits. So, we take the easier and shorter route like Tom did.

Come to think of it Tom was pretty smart. He was right on the money. He was right in realizing that the king did not need the fruit. But his smartness was not much use to him when something that he did not expect happened.

Even though the idea for this blog post started out after listening to a CEO talk about doing good, the concept of doing good by doing good can be applied to any facet of life. If you believe in after life then all the deeds, good or bad will follow you into your next life and you will have to live with the fruits of these deeds.

Thanks for reading. Have a great life filled with good deeds!

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