Toward the end of the movie, Leanne Tuohy (Bullock) asks her husband (played well by singer Tim McGraw), "Am I a good person?" She also asks him why she does good things.
"I don't know why. For some strange, sick reason," he responds, smiling. (I'm paraphrasing.) My husband looked at me and smiled.
Their conversation stayed with me.
Throughout my life, I have been called a do gooder, an angel, a sap. Decades ago, a man I was dating posted a mantra on my refrigerator, "End of social causes. Beginning of personal gain." But I just never could get the real hang of personal gain; it just didn't interest me. So, when Leanne questions her motives for bringing an essentially parentless, homeless poor young man into her home....I could relate. I've wondered about many of my actions.
Today I watched another true story; The Soloist, starring brilliant Jamie Foxx as Nathaniel Ayers, Jr., a homeless gifted musician. Ayers is given a cello by George Lopez, (played beautifully by Robert Downey, Jr.). The same question came to mind. Why did Lopez take Ayers a cello? And help him find a place to sleep indoors? Why do we do kind things, especially for strangers?
At this moment, the one answer that I have is that giving is all about the giver. My needs and wants. It is the same reason I adjust a crooked picture frame. Walking by a painting that isn't level, something inside directs me touch it ever so slightly, to right it. To right it. That feels right.
NOTE: See skewed picture above. Wanna right it? What else needs righting?