I suppose the reason why Mystery Plow Guy does what he does is irrelevant really, because the point is that he just does it. I highly doubt he decided to pull in that first day thinking we'd offer him money or bake in return. And when I did bake those cookies, I certainly didn't expect that he'd come clear us out again after the next storm. When we choose to give freely and act without expectation we are allowing ourselves to truly appreciate the goodness that comes from doing good, while also giving a whole new meaning to the efforts of others if they do return your kindness. Imagine if I had baked those cookies and thought, "This guy better plow for us next time!" Which I could have easily assumed might happen. But for some reason, I didn't. The next storm hadn't even crossed my mind because my goal was to do something nice, just to do something nice. Had I expected it I wouldn't have thought twice when he pulled in yesterday. Imagine if I expected it and he didn't pull in? There certainly wouldn't be anymore cookies, I'm sure. But because he did reach out and help us again when I hadn't made expectations at all, I was truly surprised and appreciative of his thoughtfulness in a more meaningful way. I'm telling you friends, doing good does you good.
Do something nice for someone today. Maybe even a stranger! Pay a compliment, hold a door, shovel for your neighbor, buy someone at work a coffee. Do something. But when you do, expect nothing in return and take a moment to acknowledge that feeling of 'doing good' that comes with it. I plan to try too, so keep a lookout...I just might be bringing you cookies! ;)
PS. More on being thoughtful here. (The Laundry Room circa 2010!)