This just in: Doing volunteer work makes your regular job a lot less stressful. A study by psychologists at the University of Konstanz, Germany, found that people with full-time jobs who also spent a few hours a week volunteering turned out to recover faster from pressure at work. Several magazines around the world have picked up on this research, including our own Reader’s Digest (August issue). So, feeling some office-related angst? Take two hours of candystriping and call me in the morning.
Now for an update about the leaky water main on my street corner. After I called it in, and after workers came to place an orange traffic cone beside the trouble spot, and after more workers came to place more traffic cones around the entire puddle, and after yet more workers came to dig a seven-foot hole… well, eventually there was quite a crew clustered around the watery pit with their big trucks and machines. I had a brief chat with the nice young man in the hard hat. Turns out if the leak had gone unattended for much longer, we’d likely have had a burst-open pipe on the block with much messier consequences. Now I’m thinking about my vulnerable basement just down the street that quite honestly could quite do without any more water incursions. And I’m realizing that by taking the time to help, I reaped not inconsiderable benefits.
That’s karma, baby. The question is: Does it still count as a good deed when it circles back on you?