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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Overheard in a commercial...

...for something; not sure what..........

"To do good, you actually have to do something."

It seems so obvious, but seems to be such a challenge at times.

"Doing good" varies, I suppose. For the most part, we all recognize "good," I do believe. It's the "doing something" that we bungle.

I know that sometimes I don't want to stop my life to do what needs to be done. Or I don't want embarrass others who might need help.

Doing good doesn't have to be on the grand scale. It doesn't have to mean curing leprosy or figuring out how to sop up the oil in the Gulf (although if you have ideas, now would be the time to DO SOMETHING). Doing good might be something as simple as helping the elderly man in front of you in the grocery check out line lift his laundry detergent out of his cart. Sure, he might snap at you, he might not appreciate your assistance. But so what? In the long run, will that matter in 5 years? No. 5 months? No. 5 weeks? No. 5 days? No. 5 hours? Most likely not. 5 minutes? Probably not. So, what does it matter? Odds are, you will be thanked any way.

In our culture, or maybe it's just a particularly common personality quirk that makes it so, it's hard to accept "good" offered from others. I know this past year, it has been hard for me to accept help, although I've learned to let people do good to and for me. As much as I loved having my house cleaned, it was really hard to let people clean it. As helpful as it was to have meals brought in during my bad weeks, it was also hard to accept the help. I mean, we wouldn't have starved without those meals. But my kids would probably have eaten a lot of instant oatmeal and nachos for dinner. My husband's cholesterol would probably have skyrocketed. But we would have survived. Yet, life was made so much easier, thanks to the GOOD that so many caring people did.

The thing is, no one really asked us if it was OK to do good. For the most part, they just did it. I suppose it was frequently phrased as "Would it be OK if..." but the tone was more along the lines of "Hey, suck it up, we are going to....let us know your preferences...."

I know when I assist others, whether it's something as basic and Bowling Green-like as bringing someone a meal or sending a card or care package to someone I've been thinking about, it's a blessing to me, and I'm not one to toss the word "blessing" around. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever used it before like this.

But the hardest part really is "doing something." I have to just get off my flabby buttocks, close my computer, and just do it.

And there's another one of my favorite commercial tag lines: "Just Do It."

Or as I tell my students, "Nike it."

"In order to do good, just Nike it" doesn't have quite the same ring, though.

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