Answer: That depends on your intention. If you truly have the intention to bestow, then you will surely attract the Light. But if you’re going to be walking an old lady across the street and thinking yourself righteous for doing so, you will only hurt yourself.
There are millions of people in the world willing to help others, and it appears that they do good things on the material level, but for some reason their actions don’t make the world any better. All the deeds of philanthropy do not produce any positive results because it is intentions that change the world, not actions.
The Creator doesn’t need your actions if you’re doing them out of your ego. First, you have to ask whether these actions correct the heart? Before performing a commandment or any other good deed, you have to first arm yourself with the right intention. And if you don’t have the intention, ask yourself whether the action is even worth doing.
If the action is essential to your livelihood, you have to carry it out even without an intention since it pertains to the bare necessities, and hence, is “neither condemned nor rewarded.” But if the action goes beyond what the animal body needs, you cannot do it with an egoistic intention. By performing egoistic actions you corrupt the world since you distance yourself from spirituality and bring misery into this world.
The collective state when actions are done without an intention is called “exile.” And returning to actions with altruistic intentions is called “redemption” for with each such action you reveal the Creator.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 12/24/10, “The Freedom”