My first employer in funeral service was a good-natured old man. He was sympathetic but did not suffer fools gladly. A thick mane of grey hair matched the cloud of smoke that surrounded him from his pack-a-day habit. He had a deep, bellowing voice that commanded a room and scared small children.
He had a saying:
“Do good and speak well of it”.
He did just that. He was the most thoughtful person my 22-year-old self had ever met and came up with the most incredible ideas to spread goodness.
Family exhausted after saying goodbye to someone they love? Buy them Swiss Chalet so they don`t have to cook.
Funeral at a Legion? First round of drinks on him, plus taxi chits so no-one drives under the influence.
And, speaking of DUIs, he went so far as to park a wrecked vehicle (totalled in a drunk driving accident) in front of our little funeral home. A sign hung above the car, and below our funeral home sign – “Closed for the holidays – we hope – please don`t drink and drive”. It got both positive and negative attention but it started a conversation. It made people think outside themselves and I bet it saved more than one life.
That is my hope for this little community of kindness. That something strikes a chord in you, a conversation gets started, and a ripple of kindness starts from you.
My motivation? I think it stems from the fact that I was so terribly sick last year. You know when you have the flu for a couple weeks, then, one day, you wake up and you feel better and tackle all the projects you have on your list, fit in a workout and make a meal from scratch? That`s how I feel right now. Totally energized and determined not to let one more day of my life go to waste.
Now, is one good-deed a day too much to put on ourselves?
Yes. Yes it is.
I aim for one a week. One act that I can be proud to share. Not to be begging for attention like a 6 year old jumping up and down saying “Look at me! Look at me!”, but simply to inspire others.
Now, as I said before, I’m not an incredibly nice person, I just don’t go out of my way to be an asshole.
I hold doors open, smile at strangers and am kind to restaurant servers wherever I go. I try to see where good is lacking and add some. I try to help people who are hurting as much as I was.
Doing good and speaking well of it.