Do the Right Thing …

I had originally queued up this post with the thought of talking railing on about the seeming lack of compassion, sensitivity, concern – for their fellow human beings and the world at large – I’ve been witnessing for some time now from people everywhere (and not just politicians but also those close to home) who should definitely know better.

I decided instead to give you some examples of the ways average people, no matter what their income or expertise, can help others – even if it’s just a matter of including those others in our lives and making them feel welcome and wanted. I also added a video among these examples about helping the animals of the world, because we do share this planet, you know.

Personally, here are ways I have helped others …

For some years, I have promoted other authors free on my blogs. I’ve given them exposure on social media and encouraged sales of their books, all for no charge. I’ve beta-read, done some pro bono editing, and offered free advice and contact information to those authors who I consider to be good enough to deserve that help. I have also volunteered teaching literacy.

I have donated print books to libraries and those groups that supply reading materials for people who can’t afford to buy books or do not have library access.

I pledge to do more, however, and am considering other ways I can Do the Right Thing that will make a difference in the lives of others around me and elsewhere.

Here are a few examples I’ve gleaned from social media recently (and, yes, two of these videos are commercials for large corporations) that offer ideas of ways in which anyone can help the world become a better place.

From The New York Times, Home Is Where the Resistance Is

The Cat Man of Aleppo

Or maybe it’s just a small matter of Paying It Forward

And this story is about a friend who is an avid gardener as well as someone who constantly looks for ways to help others and contribute to her community, just because that’s the kind of person she is … Last summer, when her own garden was in full bloom, she began cutting the flowers to create bouquets then knocked on doors of houses on her street and gave those neighbours the gift of her flowers. Such a simple act, but one which I’m sure the neighbours, many of whom she’d never actually met prior to doing this, very much appreciated.

I know there are hundreds more examples of people Doing the Right Thing, and some other examples I have are friends of mine. I want to “up” my own personal game though and, as I said above, will pledge to do more. As I think of other ways I can personally make a difference I will add them to my blog.

So, what about you? Do you know of other examples in which people Do the Right Thing? If you are already helping the world in whatever way you can – for free, without an agenda or opportunity for personal financial gain, and not just by donating cash to causes in need, but by actually offering personal help, a hand up, or even simply showing compassion and understanding to your neighbours, colleagues, animals … Please post those examples and ideas below. I would love to hear from you!

And, like me, please consider pledging to do more – even if it’s just a small act of kindness a day. If enough people do the same, we can make a difference in this world. That’s the kind of world in which I, and I’m sure you, as well, would prefer to live.


12 responses

  1. Timely post. Everyone seems so grim and on edge right now.
    I always suggested to new teachers/struggling teachers (long ago when I was dept chair of Eng. in a Jr High – before I finally got disgusted with the system and bailed to work more effectively outside it). Try to smile and quietly say a kind word – a sincere one to each student ( and we fought, I mean taught in a war zone type area). You just never know what has gone on in that child’s life that morning – and it may be the only kind thing that child hears all day. It couldn’t be a shallow flattering remark, but a true thought about that child or their actions. There is always something good you can say. At first some kids would stop dead with mouth open – to see if you were making fun of them or something. You could see a change in their eyes. And their posture. And behavior.
    You just never know what a person has been dealing with. It may be the only nice thing they hear all day.
    If everyone would stop trying to help those far away and simply open their eyes to see those standing so close to them who are in need. Help locally. If everyone only did little things on their block, neighborhood – then eventually the areas of kindness and compassion would overlap. The whole place would be better.
    Hope you are doing well. Just wandering around your blog for a bit.
    (Nothing new on your Chick. virus but they are making progress with Zika – links on a post, “vanquishing” a few days ago. Just FYI. keeping a look out – summer is coming and the winter was mild. Sigh)

    1. Thanks, as always, Philmouse! “Help locally” is a great idea, and we never know the impact we’ll make on someone’s day by just using a kind word or two.
      Will write an update post on the virus situation, soon, I hope. Thanks for keeping up-to-date!

  2. Wonderful post. Inspiring. Love the videos. Wow.
    It truly is easy to make someone’s day with just a small gesture. I’ve done it and it makes my day too. Thank you for this post. 🙂

  3. Susan, you and Becky have definitely gone above and beyond what most people (including me) have done. Therefore, rather than share the smaller things that I have done to help others, I will simply take these examples as an inspiration – and pledge to do more. My focus has been on my friends and family, but with my pending retirement I will have time for many other things. It will be a time to give back. I just hope I am able to do as much as the two of you have, to make the lives of others better. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Sharon! Even making others aware of the right things to do is good. That you are also pledging to do more is great! I can see your children’s books making their way into your plans! You’re already doing a right thing by educating.

  4. Apart from donating $ I make an effort to talk with my local street cleaners. I’ve now got to the stage where we will sit on a park bench and chat, yet life isn’t easy..and I give her a hug. She doesn’t accept money but accepts time to talk. Now I give her a hug, yes her Clothes are dirty..but so what. I also chat to the people living on the street near me… buy them sandwiches when required and check they are ok. It’s not much but it is to them.
    Try it…you will be rewarded with a smile at worst.

    1. Thank you for your contribution! You are so correct in that a small kindness may seem small to the giver yet huge to the receiver, even if it’s only giving time for a chat and a hug. We are all capable of giving our time and attention to others.

  5. Lovely post, Susan. 🙂 — Suzanne

  6. Author Rebecca Heishman

    I’m 67 years old, so I’ve had a lot of time to witness the struggles of those around me. Like many people of my generation, nothing was given to me. I worked my way through nursing school, and it took me years to do it. Anything that I’ve accomplished has taken a lot of time and effort, and was always done the hard way.

    I was hired as a staff nurse at a large county hospital. I will never forget the elation I felt when I got that first paycheck. Finally becoming financially independent meant the world to me. But, as time went on, I became acutely aware of two young single mothers who were working as nursing assistants on my unit. They were raising children, working, and trying to further their education. One girl was always pale because she sold blood as often as she could in order to make additional money. She fainted in our pantry one night as a result. The other girl had two preteen girls who slept on a mattress on the floor of their bedroom because there was no money to buy bedroom furniture. I couldn’t stand it. I felt that I had to do something. These women were struggling, and I was not.

    I got paid every two weeks. Every time I got my paycheck, I would buy gift cards to various places, one for each girl. I would type their addresses on the envelopes because I knew they would recognize my handwriting. Then I’d mail them. Most of the time I bought gift cards to grocery stores. I sometimes bought gift cards to all-you-can-eat buffet-style restaurants because you can fill lots of little stomachs on a deal like that. One of the girls had two teenaged boys with typical teenaged appetites, and food was expensive. On holidays such as Mother’s Day or Easter, I bought them each a gift card to a beauty salon. One year I bought each of them a gift card to a florist because I figured that they would never buy flowers for themselves. This went on for years, and they never knew who their Secret Santa was.

    And, they still don’t.

    These girls are grandmothers now. They are happy and successful, and their kids turned out great. I’m sure that their lives would have turned out this way without my secret envelopes. But, I have to say; plotting and planning and scheming about what to stuff into those envelopes was a true joy for me. I enjoyed it far more than they did, I’m sure. I kept it all secret because they were dignified women and they would have been horrified at the thought of taking charity. I enjoy knowing that I might have given them hope when it was badly needed. Giving secretly was an emotional rush for me all of those years. It cracked my heart wide open. I would recommend it to anyone. There are people sitting beside you who need a Secret Santa. With the money that you spend on gourmet coffee every morning, you can buy dignity for a struggling person who is right there within your arms’ reach.

    1. Becky, you are truly a generous soul! I realized this of you before, as I’ve known you donate all profits from your book sales to animal rescue groups. But this is a perfect example of what can be accomplished and how Doing the Right Thing can really make a difference – even to the lives of the “doers”. Thanks for adding your example to my blog post!

      1. Good story, bless you.

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