Doing the deed – Becoming a do-gooder

There was once a time where do-gooding was frowned upon. ‘Interfering do-gooders’ were known to meddle and cause problems for those of us cantankerously surviving in our mundane day to day existence.

Thankfully these times are changing for the better. It is becoming more popular to do good and I am stumbling across more and more adverts/short films/music videos that promote goodwill and kind gestures. Us human beings have the power of endless love and compassion locked beneath the barriers that our minds create as a defense against hurt, anger and rejection. These barriers however do a good job and we almost always forget what we should do. i.e. that poor old chap trying to cross a busy road. ‘Sorry buddy, no time for you, I’VE had a bad day’.

How did we come to act on such selfish tendencies? How can we say “I don’t care, I’m looking after me right now”?

Imagine if instead of this we all looked after each other. That we donated a moment of strength to someone who was struggling. Imagine the bond that would form with someone who rescued you when you most needed help and were too scared to ask a stranger. That on seeing that poor guy trying to cross the road, no doubt terrified by the noise and endless streams of machines intent on mowing him down, you took those few seconds to take his arm, walk him over and carry on with your day.

It’s these few precious seconds that are nothing to you…and everything to him.

Think about the relief he’d feel, thanks to you. Imagine the smile on his face when he tells relatives of that lovely person who helped him when he felt vulnerable and needy. Doesn’t that make you feel good?

How about that kid trying to get on the bus, or a mother paying for groceries amidst screaming children. They’re 20p short which means a long walk home, or missing out on some sort of essential item. Do you have a lose 20p floating about? I’ll bet you do. The thought crosses your mind but you shrug it off quickly. ‘No, I’ll need it’ or ‘It’s right at the bottom of my bag’. You stay quiet and they suffer as a result. You need it for what anyway? A pint at the pub later? A packet of crisps for the walk home? Just give them the 20p and change their day for the better.

It’s these little things that will make such a difference to those in need. Also, the enormity of joy and satisfaction you’ll receive from seeing a smile on someone’s face that you’ve put there is second to none.

There are countless moments like this every day for those who choose to see them.

So next time you see that opportunity to help, ignore that little arsehole in your head who’s only looking out for number one, waltz up to that person and do it. You’ll be surprised how good you both feel as a result and you never know, you might make a habit out of it.

And let me tell you, that’s one habit our world needs more of.

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Apologies for the unexpected interlude

Good morning!

Apologies, my page has been quiet for a little while. Things should get back to normal shortly.

I’ll level with you. I’ve been stuck in a valley of a life situation that needed changing and after stewing on this for quite some time those changes had to be made.

Life is a bit like flowing down a river, some times you’re carried and some times you have to steer the boat.

After a period of distraction I awoke to realise I was following a path I’d never intended to. I was missing valuable components to my happiness. I’ve found that life will do this when you’re not paying attention.

It was time for a revolution.

Firstly, after years of coasting jobs for the money (I had never been able to decide what I wanted to do), I took the all important step of applying for a degree in Creative Writing. I love the arts and have dabbled in almost all over the years. Much like a one night stand they came and went, slipping through my fingers when the sun came up. Like finding a soul mate, it was time to commit to the one that has naturally been the most happy and true. There is nothing more delightful to me that when words come flowing out onto paper or onto screen. I start my degree in September. I am twitching with anticipation.

Next came the job. I was working in Customer Service for a large corporation in which I had no faith or passion. The parallels to Orwell’s ‘1984’ were endless. When I started I felt hardened to it and thought I could exist quietly under the radar of the management. As long as I kept my head down and got on with my job, I could last until September. Alas, corporate companies can be the most soul crushing of places. I watched from the shadows as free thinking individuals were marched through in their masses, eyes a’glimmer at the lure of their own desk, coffee and a decent pension scheme (don’t we all dream of someone to look after us?) As days went by their smiles would dim and one by one they would lose all sense of self and become hosts, amalgamated into the machine with nothing to say other than pre-thought phrases handed down on little sheets of paper left on our desks every morning.

I had to escape there immediately, before they got me too.

With rent to pay, I stomached the last few weeks whilst looking for something else. I took to daydreaming of not going in when I knew I inevitably would. I imagined the delicious joy of staying on the train past my stop and ending up somewhere completely different, just to prove I was in control of my own decisions. Luckily, I found a job working the bar and waitressing in a local gin and whisky lounge and started the next day. The change in lifestyle has been instant and glorious. My character is something to be celebrated, rather than taken as a threat. Instead of waking bleary eyed at the crack of dawn, I dawdle home to the sound of the early birds. I have no need for the gym as I spend a good 10 hours of my day running around, carrying things, with a smile on my face and a cheeky word to say to ears who’d like to hear it. Yes the hourly pay is less, but there’s tips to be made and as long as I’ve got my means covered, then that’s enough for me.

I have no drive to have more money than I need at the cost of my happiness.

The happiness I’m feeling for these 2 changes is uncontainable. After concerns I had lost who I was, I have never felt more myself and in control of my life. It’s not been easy and I’ve felt the fruit flies of doubt at my apple but I believe in a world of distraction, the capability of being true to yourself despite hurdles is one of life’s greatest satisfactions.

Our hearts scream to our inner selves when there are changes to be made. Don’t ever be scared to make them. You’ll never know unless you try and this fear can hold us back from so much. I have returned to dancing around my home to my favourite music, wearing nothing but a shirt, cider in hand, feeling blessed to be alive.

And get out of the office. It’s not normal. Not for me anyway. Damn, it feels so good to say that.