Good Still Exists Everywhere!!!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pay It Forward.”Tell us about a time when you responded to an act of kindness with one of your own.
Today, for some reason, I did something I have never done before. Instead of writing to this prompt, I decided to read what others had written first. Why this was so, I don’t know. Perhaps it was because I had the feeling many probably had that it is embarrassing to talk about this subject. How in the world do you write about it without sounding (and being) narcissistic or self-congratulatory? There is no way to talk about our own good acts without sounding either falsely humble or like a braggart.
I say perhaps this is the reason, because I was not even conscious of registering what the prompt was. I just went to the first page listed on the Daily Prompt page and clicked on the first square I saw. Unfortunately, it was at this exact moment that I got called away by Yolanda to talk about some household matter, and when I came back, I saw these words by Marilyn Armstrong:
“In Judaism, you lose points for telling anyone about your good deeds. The only ones that really count are the ones you do in secret. Pity that has never really caught on :-)”
Thinking it was her blog I was reading, I responded with this comment:
“I have never heard this before, Marilyn, but it sounds like it would make a great theme for a story or poem. I think we need to hear about the positive things that happen in the world. We are all so weighted down by the terrible ones. But perhaps the secret is to broadcast the good acts of others rather than your own. If you look at blogs like Mark’s or several others whose names have slipped my mind, they are often publicizing gross wrongs in the world and encouraging people to draft letters of protest or sign petitions or to give their support by other means. He is not blowing his own horn, but speaking out of a desire to effect change in the world. These are acts we can all see and in promoting them and him, we can spread the word of positive acts not our own. I am not disputing what you say, understand. I agree that people who constantly tell you of all their good works are irritating. On the other hand those who merely demonstrate their own good works by their actions are such wonderful role models that they have no need to blow their own horns.”
But now, the plot thickens. After hitting the “Send” button, I scrolled up to realize that the blog I was writing on was really The happy Quitter’s blog. The statement by Marilyn was just a comment! So, it became necessary to fire off this comment to its author, nonsmokingladybug!
“Darn. Ladybug, I came back to my computer and saw Marilyn’s comment and thought it was her blog I was writing on so addressed this comment to her! I can’t erase it from your blog, but please do if you wish to. This is what happens when I let life interfere with blogging..Ha. I think you also requested I not give you links, which I no longer do. Your point about blowing one’s own horn is a good one as you can see from my response above. Please do erase it if you wish.”
To this, she graciously replied that she saw no reason to erase it as I’d made some good points. She went on to say, in a different comment,
“The long comment won’t matter to Marilyn, since you made it on my blog (grin).
If I might answer that. I think the world is full with good, but many of us don’t see it anymore, because their focus has shifted. Do we need to point out the good in the world? I don’t think so, I think we have to point out that it is still existing everywhere.”
to which I answered:
“What is the difference between pointing out the good in the world and pointing out that it is still existing everywhere? I think they are one and the same thing. I get so depressed when I see the violence reported in the news, and sitting at home and merely reading about terrible act after terrible act, we are drawn into depression and deluded into thinking there is nothing we can do about it. But when we get active on a local level, we can see firsthand what wonderful things are being done by so many–and the changes they are effecting. These messages of how the world can be and is being healed need to get out as well. As you say, this is going on around us all the time. This is what encourages people to try to effect changes themselves.”
I live in a community where there are incredible numbers of people–both Mexican and expat– getting involved to make life better for kids, older people and the pueblos in general. I feel so lucky to live in a place where the positive natures of people can so easily be seen. I know when most people see the name MEXICO, they think of cartels and corrupt politicians, but there is so much love and positive energy here as well. These are the things we are more likely to see in our daily lives than in the news. As you say, good is still existing everywhere.”
At this point, I realized that in these two comments I had actually written a complete blog post, so instead of sending the last comment to nonsmokingladybug, I decided to publish it here.
If you’d like to see The happy Quitter’s original statement that prompted this confused chain of messages, please go HERE.
For news of wonderful things going on in my community, you might want to read these stories:
Step by Step
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Community Service.” Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.
I’d like for the residents of my fraccionamiento and the village of San Juan Cosala to see the three blog posts whose links are given below and to perhaps then contribute to a dance program I am setting up in San Juan Cosala–at first mid-eastern dancing for 20 girls, then with more funding, perhaps we’ll branch out to flamenco as well as different dance styles that will be more appealing to boys.
I know that people in my community have huge hearts and they’ve proven that where there is a need, that will fill it. They’ve set up soccer teams, a free spay and neuter clinic for dogs and cats, a 150+ child orchestra and chorus, English lessons, and a program that feeds and clothes the neediest families in town.
I would simply like to expand this wonderful world that is blossoming in the village of San Juan Cosala. In Camp Estrella–a week long camp for 30 San Juan children–I saw how the dance lessons taught cooperation and gave a feeling of pride to the children–some of whom do not go to school or do not even have a house to live in but live in tents.
The three blog posts whose links are given below show their wonderful accomplishments during Camp Estrella. I’d like to continue that experience throughout the year by providing weekly free dance lessons for the girls. I’ll pay instruction fees for the first twenty girls and buy their costumes that are necessary for the dance. We’ll see how it goes and perhaps have a concert later in conjunction with the orchestra and/or chorus to raise funding to expand into break dancing and other dances attractive to the boys. Let’s see what happens.
If you’d like to see the wonderful things thirty children accomplished in their week of activities that included art, dance and reading, please have a look at the below sites:
CAMP ESTRELLA FINAL SHOW!!!!!
(Please click on pictures for a larger view.)
The final show included the kids from Camp Estrella as well as part of the 153 member kid’s orchestra and chorus from San Juan. They are the spirited children in white blouses and dark pants. They presented music from Grease, La Bamba and a wonderful spoof where they drew participants from the audience and wound them around the stage area in a long line. It turns out it was a song about the whole village lining up to buy tortillas in the morning–to buy enough tortillas for 7,000 people from one shop with 7 tortilla machines…The joke is that the people drawn from the audience who took a place were forced to go to the end of the of the line–like newcomers trying to break into the tortilla line. Much funnier when listening to the lyrics!
The woman doing the scarf dance was Cynthy, one of the counselors. The woman doing the flamenco was Cindy, the organizer of the camp and the man on the drum and guitar is her husband, David. Other counselors left to right are Audrey to the far left, Juan behind Cynthy, Gloria in polka dots and me! Alicia regrettably left before someone requested we pose for a picture. She is the exotic Mexican lady standing to the left side of the stage in the picture to the right of the audience shot.
After the show, where all those little girls in bright yellow Camp Estrella T-shirts turned into sophisticated flamenco dancers in exotic dresses and tightly-chignoned hair and all the jostling young boys turned into swelled-breasted young men, every one of them hugged every one of us. Audrey and I vied with each other over who could do the best job of hiding wet eyes and lumps in our throat, and we decided the 5,000 pesos that the audience gave us to support the camp (the show was free) should be split between the performers. So, we gave each child 100 pesos and gave the rest to the orchestra/chorus.
Counselors were even more richly rewarded by the memories of working with and getting to know these warm and lovely kids…not to mention the remarkable counselors. We now count among our friends two new generations of young Mexicans–and feel younger for it and more determined to stay in the flow of life. Tomorrow we start all over again with another camp in Ajijc, the neighboring town.
Thanks for giving me a platform to share this wonderful Experience.
Now do you know why, if I had a billion dollars, I would spend it to make this sort of experience happen every day for the children of San Juan Cosala?
If you haven’t been following my stories on Camp Estrella, go HERE, HERE or HERE or for more of the story.