JJ Vincent wants to know what good you’re going to do, although chances are, you’re already doing it.
When I was doing my teacher training, one of my professors said that teenagers did not get up in the morning and try to think of ways to make our days miserable. All of us who were currently working in high schools just sort of looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Maybe they didn’t plan it, our faces said, but there was something going on in their heads that always had a scheme at the ready, the type that made us question why we had chosen to spend 6 hours a day locked in a room with them.
Deep down, we all knew, just as we all know today, that people don’t wake up and make a list of how to piss people off. They don’t set of about their routine planning to cut three people off, be late for a meeting, cut in line at the donut shop because they are too busy texting to look around them, not refill the coffee pot, or go on break just as the Worst Customer Ever walks through the door. But these little slights and petty annoyances build up, until you start planning what tomorrow’s little revenges will be.
So how about…not today. What can we each do, today, to do good?
Most likely, you already do a lot of things without even thinking about it. You hold the door for someone, let some slide in front of you on a crowded road, don’t bawl out the busy cashier because your coffee isn’t quite hot enough, smile and say hello to a shopclerk, make a fresh pot of joe, pat a dog, compliment someone, and hold your tongue when someone is venting about their lousy day, even when yours was 10 times worse. Maybe you even send them this:
I don’t care how manly of a man you think you are, no one can
resist the awesome power of Surprise Kitten.
So I ask you, what kind of good can we men (and anyone else reading) do today?
Good doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Smile at someone. Pick up a piece of trash and put it in a bin. Grab that stray grocery cart and put it in a corral. Send someone an e-card just because. Stop and listen to the guy playing the sax on the street corner. When that toddler runs into your legs – again – step away calmly (their adult will appreciate not getting a dirty look – trust me). When someone greets you, greet them back. On social media? Post a random, fun, no-controversy question (What’s your favorite candy bar? What color socks are you wearing). Tell a corny joke that you learned when you were nine. Say thank you to the busser who clears your table or the woman emptying trash cans in your building. Sing along with the radio. Don’t argue for the remote. When your buddy’s kid wants to tell you a long, meandering story about a car and a butterfly and an alien deathray, listen and nod and ignore your pal sneaking off to do…whatever. And if you have animals in the home, surprise the resident pooper-scooper by doing their job for them.
Doing something good today…and tomorrow…and after that…it’s not hard. I believe that we are all generally good. I think we do hundreds of tiny, nearly invisible (even to ourselves) acts of good every day.
So…what good are we doing today? I’ll start by making you (hopefully) laugh…
—Photo Clearly Ambiguous/Flickr