Tag Archives: Helping others

Good Still Exists Everywhere!!

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Operation Feed is a local organization that distributes food weekly to 92 families in San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico. This year they’ve added meat, fresh vegetables and fruit to the staples formerly provided.

                                                      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:

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/11/02/agustins-story/
https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/07/21/camp-estrella/
https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/07/23/the-boy-in-the-blue-feathered-mask/
https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/07/26/camp-estrella-final-show/


Mind Freeze

  • The Prompt: Overload Alert—“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein. Do you Agree?

    Mind Freeze

    There is new news all day long, for every single minute.
    By radio and television, we are immersed in it.
    Even on the Internet, they repeat and repeat
    every warlike action, every athletic feat.

    We know before their spouses do when politicians slip,
    view every starlet’s nightclub spree via a Youtube clip.
    Stock market scams and Ponzi schemes and other news that scares
    as big guys pick our pockets in order to line theirs.

    Sans Blackwater and Monsanto, we would be better off,
    but we’d still be deluged by news of Enron and Madoff!
    We consult Wikipedia to see what it might say,
    keep up with the Kardashians a dozen times a day.

    It’s hard enough to keep abreast of those they might be bedding,
    let alone to know the date of their most recent wedding.
    Who has gained a pound or two or who’s the most hirsute?
    This information makes our lives a Trivial Pursuit.

    There are so many details that come at us day and night,
    filling up our minds until our craniums feel tight.
    We’re stuffed with sound bites, news clips and every TV show
    until it is inevitable. Something’s got to blow!

    No wonder that we can’t remember names of our best friends
    or what we came out shopping for or how that movie ends.
    We can’t remember song lyrics or what we meant to do
    when we came in here for something. Was it scissors, paint or glue?

    I am forgetting everything I always used to know.
    Every mental process has just gotten kind of slow.
    It’s taking me much longer now to ponder each decision—
    a factor that the younger folks consider with derision.

    Like-aged friends agree with me, for they all feel the same.
    They all have minds stuffed just as full, and we know what to blame.
    There’s too much information, and like any stuffed-full larder,
    to locate things within them gets progressively harder.

    If we could sort our minds out the same way that we pack—
    putting unimportant stuff way at the very back
    and all the more important things in front and at the top,
    we wouldn’t have to search our minds and wouldn’t have to stop

    to figure out the names of things or places or of folks,
    and then we wouldn’t be the brunt of all their aging jokes;
    but it seems that we can’t do this so perhaps the answer is
    to just turn off the TV news and gossip of show biz.

    The scandals and the killings—all the bad things that astound us—
    we’d leave behind to concentrate on happenings around us.
    We’d notice more the little things in our immediate world:
    the spider in the spider web, the bud that’s tightly furled

    and notice when it opens, and the dragonfly that’s on it
    and take a picture of it, or perhaps construct a sonnet.
    See the children who are hungry and instead of our obsessing
    on matters where we’re powerless, instead bestow a blessing

    on all those things around us where we have the power to act.
    When we see whatever needs doing, to take action and react.
    Perhaps then all the horrid facts that rise up in the mind
    will settle to the bottom and then all of us will find

    the keys we’ve lost, our glasses, and remember why we came
    into this room and how to recall every person’s name.
    And all the time we save we’ll spend on the important things
    and feel the sense of purpose helping others always brings.

    The world is too much with us with its bad news of all kinds,
    and all this information simply freezes up our minds.
    Perhaps with less input, there would be less facts to astound us
    and we could concentrate on what’s important close around us.