Here it is my birthday again, which means it was two years ago today that I started my 365-day journey to do a good deed every day. That means that for another whole year now, I’ve gone back to an average Joe life, but one that has been changed, certainly. People are beginning to ask me now whether my Good Deed Year has changed the following year, the one that ended yesterday. And the answer is yes, it has. It’s almost as if I got myself in training, and have become more aware of living life outside myself. Do I do a good deed every day? Maybe not, but I try harder than I used to, and I’m dedicated to continue trying.
Let’s take today for example, shall we? A short while ago I was standing outside the very not nice nor terribly safe either bus station, waiting for the bus to New York City. A guy came up to me with his thumb and index finger almost touching and whispered…something, “What?” I asked. “Just a little change,” he breathed. I had six pennies, and felt crummy giving him just that instead of folding money, but he took it nonetheless. That didn’t feel great. A few minutes later, a grimy-looking guy comes over with a scrap of paper, a phone number written on it. “Can I use you phone to call this number so I can get a ride?” he asked. “I just got out of jail.” “No,” I said, but then I felt like a bum. Should I have felt bad, oh readers? Or was I right to play it safe? (And who thinks it’s a good call to tell someone you just got out of jail when you’re asking for a favor?)
BUT: I also visited two aunts this morning, went to the nursing home to visit some old family friends, and left them my phone number to call in case they needed anything. It’s not as exciting as meeting someone fresh out of the pokey, but I’m doing my best.
About ten days from now, ONE GOOD DEED, the book, comes off press. I can’t wait to see if others want to pick up the gauntlet and become inspired to — as the book’s subtitle says — “Be Just a Little Bit Better.” I hope so, because I can attest to this: life is a lot sweeter when it’s not all about you.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering? It’s not too late for you to start. Today I turned 60.
It’s never too late. Never.