A couple of weeks ago, we got together with my son and his family. My daughter-in-law gave us something that, later on, I knew I needed to return. I didn't need to. I could have kept it and nothing more would have come of it.
But I sent it back with a note basically saying that it was something she would get better use of than me. My "d-i-l" is a very sweet soul who is tenderhearted and very loving but she's not prone to shed tears like her mother-in-law. I, on the other hand, can shed buckets of tears. Cry-me-a-river type tears. And she, on several occasions, has brought me to that...tears.
Now, my intention was not to make her cry nor did I expect it to affect her so. But she did. And she told me so. It touched me knowing that she was moved by my gesture. Again, I didn't need to return it but I did it because it was the right thing to do.
My point is that there are many times that doing something or saying something is the right thing to do. My favorite phrase, in such cases, is "it's the principle of the thing". You never know how it might affect the person on the receiving end. That person might perceive it as kindness or generosity. Or be deeply touched at such a gesture. Or cause one to wonder why. Or to see you in a different light.
But, on the other hand, it might not even have any affect on them at all. Not a bat of an eyelash. No how do you do. No turn of the head. No thank you. Nada.
But you know what? That's okay. Doing something because it is the right thing to do or because it's the principle of the thing means that one does not expect anything in return.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28