Giving always costs something

One of my favorite sayings is, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

How many times have you done something nice for someone only to see it blow up in your face?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Giving always costs something.

A Florida man learned this the hard way this week. He was trying to be a nice guy. He ended up a nice patient at a nice local hospital.

He saw a turtle crossing a busy street. He didn’t want to see the turtle become the next of his species to become nature’s speed bump so he pulled over and moved the turtle to the side of the road.

When he put his shelled friend down, a small rattlesnake bit his hand and sent him to an emergency room to receive a few doses of anti-venom.

That wasn’t the most uplifting way for that story to end. I don’t really feel compelled to go save a bunch of turtles now.

But doesn’t helping someone else always cost something?

Think of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told about a man who was beaten and robbed and left for dead. A couple religious leaders walked by and refused to help. But a Samaritan, who would have been considered an enemy of the injured man, stopped and bandaged the man’s wounds and put him up in a hotel.

Not only did the Samaritan give the innkeeper two days pay to house the injured man, he offered to make up any additional bill when he returned.

He did the right thing and was lifted up as an example by Jesus to show us all how we should treat our neighbors.

But there was still a cost associated with his acts of kindness.

Winston Churchill said we should never count that cost because of the return on the investment.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give,” Churchill said.

Of course, sometimes an act of kindness doesn’t inspire gratefulness.

Sure, sometimes the charities you support let you down. Money is mishandled or stolen. Sometimes, when you help out a friendly turtle in Florida, a rattlesnake literally attacks you and other times a more figurative rattlesnake bites your hand when you’ve done a good deed.

But there are still a lot of turtles out there that need our help. It won’t always be painless and it will always cost us something.

But the next time you see a turtle, take the chance and save it anyway. Of course you should watch out for rattlesnakes this time, but I would rather risk a rattlesnake than never do another good deed.

Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: