The famous phrase said by an American dramatist named Clare Boothe Luce is, “No good deed goes unpunished," and it is a phrase that everyone can relate to. In a nutshell, it means it’s not uncommon to do something kind or thoughtful for someone without suffering adverse consequences of any magnitude, which includes being taken advantage of.
When we go out of our way to do a good deed, sometimes we give with the intention of receiving a reward from a higher power or from the person we did the good deed for. The problem with giving while in this state of mind is you cancel out the purpose of doing a kind act. Remember, our universe is just a group of mirrors. You can't manipulate a mirror; you can only make changes to yourself if you want your reflection to change. Just like you can't manipulate a mirror, you will never be able to manipulate the universe. Even if you were to lie to yourself, you would receive a reflection that would deceive you and eventually put you in an undesirable position. This means if you give with the intention to gain a return, you will only attract someone who will do the same by trying to take a mile after you gave an inch. Fortunately, there is a way to do good for others that will show returns, but it's a bit of a dichotomy because you aren't supposed to do it for the payback. Instead of looking good to your co-creators, you want to look good for yourself and the universal mirrors.
The way to properly give is first to appreciate what you have to give and appreciate that you have it. Whatever it may be that you give, you should give it while feeling grateful that you are able to give, because you have plenty. By giving with this state of mind you give with pure intentions and are able to forget about it because you aren't looking for anything in return.
Let's say you have a good friend who needs financial help. Maybe he is behind on an electric bill, and if he doesn't pay what he owes, his electricity will be cut off. Let's also say you have plenty of money and you can help your friend. If you were to give the money to your friend, you wouldn't miss it. Of course, you appreciate having money and you work hard for the money you earn as money doesn't grow on trees. You give the money to your friend knowing you have it. If you did it right, you would know what it is to have plenty, make a difference, and be genuinely grateful for your well-being. Instead of seeking the gratitude of your friend, you would be too busy feeling gratitude for your abundance. At first, It will feel strange to help someone then sincerely thank a higher power for being able to do it.
If your mindset is in a place where you acknowledge you have it, and you give it to a respectable source who truly needs it and isn't taking advantage of you, then you can give thanks for having it and move on with your life of abundance. However, let's say you do a good deed just to do a good deed. Let's say you do it for a “thank you” or positive acknowledgment. You do it because you want someone to acknowledge your good side and you want to feel special. You want to prove to yourself you are a good person by seeking out the cheerful reciprocation of a thankful human being. You do it because you're acting out a role and want someone to play the part where he or she says you are terrific or whatever warm fuzzy word comes to mind. Maybe you feel guilty and want to make it up to a higher good. Maybe you want to be able to tell others what great things you did for your fellow humankind. Do you see where I'm going with this? If Truth were an entity and you wanted to get the instant, undivided attention of this entity, then this is what you need to do because these scenarios are like the smell of sex to Truth. Do a good deed with alternative intentions, other than to be genuinely kind, and the wrath of Truth will be drawn to you faster than a fly is drawn to poop. Simply put, the wrath of Truth upon you is the result of your insincerity. When we are insincere, our beliefs, intentions, actions, and expectations are out of balance.
As human beings, when we do something for someone, we would like to be recognized and thanked for doing it. This recognition would require that the person you're doing a good deed for understands you're doing a good deed for that person. There is a rule about believing in something while you're doing it. If it is not true, the more you try to convince yourself, the more whiplash you get. This whiplash is usually what happens when you do a good deed solely for the sake of doing a good deed because you did it for a gesture of gratitude (which counteracts the purpose of doing the “good deed”). You expected a gesture of gratitude because you believed you were helping out this person, which may not be the case. This person might find your assistance to be intrusive.
On a similar note, if that person is supposed to be in a predicament and you are trying to help get that person out for the sake of being a hero, you may be interfering with a lesson or experience that person needs to learn. What I'm trying to say is, you might be doing someone a disservice. Furthermore, if that person needs to have a specific experience or lesson to learn and you are taking that away, then you will get the whiplash for it. In other words, you will accrue negative karma and will have to endure an experience to understand that some people need to be left to their own devices.
If your intentions are pure and the good deed makes a disaster, you will be exempt from the crucifixion you would receive if the good deed were laced with your ego. Here's a simple rule of thumb to live by concerning generosity. If it would bother you to move on knowing you did not help, or the person in question would be without help, then assist that person. An attitude like this will spare you punishment for doing a good deed. Otherwise, don't do it. Maybe the young girl with the flat tire makes you think of your daughter, so you help her change it. Perhaps the old man who is stuck on a bench reminds you of your grandfather, so you help get him a wheelchair. Whatever your reason, you do it so you can look in the mirror with dignity for one more day, and nothing else. If you genuinely do a good deed and things go awry, you will only get a small slap on the wrist. You won't be beaten into submission because your ego was involved.
All that being said and for a quick recap, every time you give, you must finish with pure inner gratitude for what you have after you give. Leave your ego out of the process and simply reflect on how well you have it as you give. Be thankful you have whatever it is you offer and be thankful you have enough to pull someone else out of their rut. That recognition will shoot through the clouds, into the universe, and reflect back to you. That recognition will begin to be your new truth and truth of your real personal power.