On Capitol Hill where I spent the first half of my professional life I became accustomed to seeing politicians fighting for the microphone, feeding their egos and taking credit whenever possible.
No less common in the world of charity where I now live is the citizen who conditions his gifts on gratitude, expecting the poor unfortunate he has aided to be forever grateful for every scrap of bread they have been given.
While one would claim responsibility for every favorable shift of the wind, the other would hold you in their debt for every kindness. Both instincts come from the same self-serving source.
The more we seek credit or recompense, the more we seek to identify ourselves with the outcome of our actions, the more we risk losing our connection to the universe and our inner selves. Our prayers become prescriptions and our good deeds take on the aspect of an economic exchange.
We must learn to detach ourselves from the ego’s need for control and credit. The consequences of our actions are not in our hands. Nor is the scorecard ours to keep.