This morning I woke up early with the intention of working out. I got dressed in my workout clothes, put on my shoes, and then sat down on the couch for a few minutes too long. But I’m glad I did.
As I sat in the living room, my thirteen-year-old daughter was in the kitchen packing her lunch for school. Once she had picked up her bread crumbs and dishes, she started to head upstairs to get ready. But before she made it up two steps, she stopped, turned around and walked over to me. Bending down, she wrapped her arms around me, hugged me, and kissed me on the cheek.
Smiling, I asked, “What was that for?”
She smiled back, “Just because.” And then turned around and headed up to her room.
What a great way to start the day. Just because.
An hour later, my youngest was up, and she came into my room as I got ready for the day. She walked up to me, still sleepy-eyed, and wrapped her arms around my leg. She didn’t say it, but I knew it was just because.
At some point, as we grow older, we begin to lose the just because mentality. I don’t believe it ever completely goes away, but as adults, the number of social transactions we are a part of that have expectations definitely outweigh the ones that don’t.
Blame it on society, movies, or social media; there are a host of influences out there promoting the use of behaviors that will get us what we want. Over time, we can become motivated by paychecks, tax breaks, and any other scenario where we get something for what we give. But at the end of the day, we're the ones that choose to give with expectations or choose to just give.
Kids get it, they give hugs just to give hugs and give kisses just to give kisses. They have more excitement about giving a gift at a birthday party than any adult I have ever seen, and they're ready to give someone in need money or food with no thought of how it will impact their schedule or bank account, and with no regard for who is or isn't watching. Kids live with a natural just because mentality.
Today, find a moment or two where you can operate with that same mentality. Take someone out for coffee or lunch, just because. Find someone in need and give them time, money, or food when no one is watching. Find something good you can do, and do it just because.