Some would argue that the mere act of giving is its own reward. That reward is intangible--rather than tangible--a warm fuzzy feeling. Never downplay the warm fuzzies. They give you a high better than any drug.
ArtCraft on Salt Spring Island is a seasonal gallery--open during the summer months. They sell locally-made (on-island and from the surrounding smaller islands) art and craft, hence the name. Years ago, when I was a participating crafter, I sailed to them twice a year--to drop off and pick up.
I was on a pickup run--sailing home with a small bag full of knitting. Among the items were several baby toques. Something made me stop reading my novel. Something made me notice them--a mother and her baby. They were so cute together. I carried the toques over to them.
After a brief explanation, I opened the bag.
She dug through her purse and found her wallet. "How much--?"
I shook my head. "No, it's a gift."
The look on her face... What a reward.
She popped the hat on her child's head. Oh, so cute.
Another idea: "You probably have friends with babies."
"A few," she told me.
"Here, these are for them." I handed her the bag. And the warm fuzzies doubled. In fact, when I'm blue, that memory still picks me up.
You tell me: generosity or selfishness?