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To wonder at expression "No good deed goes unpunished"

(31 Posts)
janelikesjam Sat 08-Dec-12 15:38:10

I think this may be an "Americanism" - I've seen it on JudgeJudy alot anyway.

But am puzzled too. It means, basically, that if you do something good or nice, someone will always throw it back in your face and make life hard for you as a consequence! The kind of opposite of "virtue is its own reward".

Is this a very cynical expression? Or sadly accurate?

YoucanringmySleighBells Sat 08-Dec-12 17:51:09

A good deed like saving someone who tries to jump from a building and you injure them. You have saved their life but the sue you anyway...

<<The Incredibles wink)

FolkElf Sat 08-Dec-12 18:31:06

It's the 285th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition. It's hard to believe Quark would spout many words of wisdom. But it's often true I've found.

TapselteerieO Sat 08-Dec-12 18:37:08

In the NE of Scotland when we get some rare good weather someone usually says "aye we'll pay for it" - meaning we will get lots of crap weather because we have had some good, it always makes me smile.

DoIgetastickerforthat Sat 08-Dec-12 18:58:52

I always thought it meant that just because you do something kind/selfless that you can never expect that that kindness to be reciprocated or appreciated and therefore you should only give of your kindness if you are prepared/able to lose out from your good deed. It's a cautionary reminder that not everybody thinks or behaves in the same way as you.

OP, are you me? I am in a similar situation with my kids school PTA. I stepped in to 'help out' despite really not wanting to, have been dumped on constantly and now face a probable beating (not kidding) due to accusations of stealing, which although were not made by me (the accuser is actually the best friend of the accused but threw her friend under the bus to deflect from her own light- fingeredness), but will come down on me because I'm the only mug that is prepared to do the right thing. Oh well, purple has always suited me confused.

PumpkinPositive Sat 08-Dec-12 19:46:25

I've heard it quite a lot. I tend to think of it as applying to situations where you do someone a good turn, and they resent you for it, or impute a cynical motivation to your action.

Abra1d Sat 08-Dec-12 19:51:51

An author I very vaguely know of ran a special programme whereby she, at her own expense, provided books free to state schools. The idea was to benefit children who might not otherwise have access to these books.

On Twitter she was subjected to a torrent of nasty posts because she wasn't making them available to home-educated children.

That was a very good example of receiving hassle because you try and help a specific group.

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