Last week, I challenged you to join me in doing 15 good deeds. This past Sunday was Good Deeds Day, a worldwide movement of 900,000 volunteers in 58 countries who take part in a celebration of “doing good.” Several of you joined me, and I thank you!
Together, we did small things and big things, all of which made a difference in someone else’s life. And for that, we are all better. A few things I know that happened out of #SGRGoodDeeds:
- A meal was pre-paid at a burger joint for a future customer.
- Fresh cookies were left at neighbors’ doors.
- Many attempts at being kinder drivers occurred. A lot of patience and waving, and one more extra car being let in, in traffic took place!
- A Pay-It-Forward chain was started and sustained (in case one car accepted the kind act but didn’t pay it forward) at a coffee shop drive-through known for kindness, called On The Grind Coffee, owned by Mark Parmerlee. Mark and his employees epitomize extraordinary customer service, and they have seen customers take it upon themselves to frequently and spontaneously participate in pay-it-forward chains. Kudos to you, Mark, for inspiring your customers to do good. You make New Braunfels a better place!
- A tip and a sweet note for a hotel maid to have a “beautiful day!”
- Shared a treat and watched a movie on a shared iPad with a seatmate on a flight.
- Picked up a woman’s tab at a restaurant – she had the five most well-behaved children (ages 7 and under) on record, ever, in the history of dining – she deserved that and a medal.
- Chocolate and banana bread delivered to office mates.
- Surprised a friend with coffee.
- Let a man with flowers and a card ahead of me in line to check out at a store. When he declined the offer, I said, “You look like you have somewhere to be.” He smiled and went ahead.
- Promoted and donated to friends’ fundraising efforts for American Heart Association and Walk for Multiple Sclerosis.
- Helped an older woman without her glasses operate the microwave at the hotel.
I hope that, as you do good deeds, you find them to not be cumbersome, expensive, or uncomfortable. I hope that you find them to be quietly gratifying, that they bring you a sense of peace, even. And that they become natural-feeling, part of who you are.
I was raised to act out in kindness to strangers and neighbors by my parents. They’re both educators in the public school system, so serving others is part of their core. Neither has a problem making friends with complete strangers, so I come by it honestly. Courtesy, respect, kindness, and generosity were standards in my family, and was in the family of a classmate of mine, Kliff Kingsbury, whose natural instinct for good deeds made the news recently. He usually makes the news about being the best thing since tortillas for Texas Tech football or looking like Ryan Gosling…
so, I’m happy that he was recognized for doing something more… human. This gentleman was also raised by educators, so I know that he had instilled in him the same things that I did. I knew his mom better than his dad, and she was an amazing woman; we have honored her every year since her death with the Sally M. Kingsbury Sarcoma Research Foundation fundraiser. When I read this article about the man I’ve known since sixth grade helping an elderly woman after a wreck, I said, “Of course he did. His momma raised him right.”
While you and your employees may not have had the benefit of being raised by public servants, you can begin instilling these traits and encouraging these acts now! You’ll make someone’s day, encourage better customer service, even help someone’s life. I challenge you to continue doing good deeds. If you want to encourage others to join you, please continue using the tag when you post #SGRGoodDeeds. Thanks again for joining me. It makes me happy!
One of SGR’s Core values is philanthropy. In today’s hard-edged business world, it sounds a bit corny to talk about love, but the reality at SGR is that we have a serious commitment to walking the talk of our personal faith. We believe our faith is the most important part of who we are, and that it is most meaningfully conveyed in our actions and how we treat other people. SGR team members are encouraged to give back to the community through volunteerism and simply doing good. This Sunday is Good Deeds Day, a worldwide movement of 900,000 volunteers in 58 countries who will take part in a celebration of doing good. I challenge you to join me in doing 15 good deeds between now and March 15!
Good deeds, random or planned acts of kindness, big things, small things, can change the world – and can change you!
In a study published a few years ago in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers in Great Britain had 86 participants take a survey measuring life satisfaction before and after participating in a 10-day exercise. One group was instructed to perform a daily act of kindness for the next 10 days. Another group was also told to do something new each day over those 10 days. A third group received no instructions. The groups that practiced kindness and engaged in novel acts both experienced a significant – and roughly equal – boost in happiness; the third group didn’t get any happier. The findings suggest that good deeds do in fact make people feel good, even when performed over as little as 10 days, and there may be particular benefits to varying our acts of kindness, as novelty seems linked to happiness as well.
There are a number of good things you can do for others for little or no cost. Here is a short list of ideas!
- Smile at a stranger.
- Leave a note or small gift on your neighbor’s door.
- Be a kind driver – let someone out in traffic ahead of you.
- Leave change in a vending machine for someone else to find.
- Visit a loved one in a hospital or nursing home – and then stop in a few extra rooms (with permission of course!) and be sweet to others.
- Send cards to servicemen and servicewomen deployed away from their families.
- Send a friend flowers unexpectedly.
- Volunteer for a couple of hours at a charity.
- Start a Pay-It-Forward chain at a coffee shop or fast food drive-through.
There are many more ideas out on the internet that can help you get started. Again, I challenge you to join me in doing 15 good deeds between now and March 15. That’s 3 good deeds per day between now and then! As you do your good deeds, tweet, post, and share them and tag them with #SGRGoodDeeds.