The resources that I look to for spiritual development would point out that until you've done a good deed without the expectation of something in return, even verbal recognition, you haven't done a good deed at all. They would say, "One who hold himself up as good, in so doing loses the goodness."
This very concept has haunted me ever since I was identified as the match for Clyde's t-cell transplant. As happy as I was to donate the cells intended to make Clyde better, I hoped that by going through the process I would achieve some level of accomplishment that would designate me as one of "those people", capable of greatness and worthy of an elevated status. I fought that thinking but could in no way rid myself of it.
A recent event in my life indicates that perhaps I let my expectation of hero status leak out into my interactions with other people. This afternoon I had a friend tell me that I portrayed a sense of entitlement and arrogance in a meeting last Tuesday that in turn cost me an opportunity. While the feedback that was being provided hurt and led to extreme disappointment, I could understand what the source may have been. I had done all I could and still couldn't save Clyde. Her loss combined with my efforts to make her well allowed me to feel that I was owed something by the Universe.
The fact is that after Clyde's transplant and apparent recovery, I felt like I deserved a ticker-tape parade. I held my "good deed" up as though everyone around me should bow down for worship. For me, this behavior and attitude has been a source of great angst, even more so now.
The point of this post is not to solicit sympathy or praise from readers. Instead, it is my intention to share the lesson that I am trying to learn. The lesson is that you never establish "the type of person" you are. It's your duty to yourself and to those with whom you interact to earn your "goodness" everyday and with everybody.
Keep this in mind the next time you think you're owed something. Earn it every minute.