Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Good Deed

My sister recently loaned me a book that I'm in the middle of reading called One Good Deed by Erin McHugh. The author set about purposing to perform at least one good deed every day for a full year, and this book chronicles her efforts.

Most of her good deeds are fairly simple don't do and don't require a lot of time or money. Some are what she calls "good deeds of omission", such as choosing to bite her tongue instead of telling somebody off (even when they really, really deserve it).

I used to think of myself as a fairly generous person, but this book is opening my eyes to see that I'm a pretty selfish individual. I'm usually willing to give money to a good cause or to help someone in need, but giving my time--now, that's another story. I get pretty possessive with how I spend my time, especially on weeknights after a long, hard day at work when I just want to veg out on the sofa. Several of McHugh's good deeds in the book involve her giving up nights (after long, hard days at her own job) to spend time with a friend who needs some company or support a performance or other event.

So this book is challenging me (in a good way) to be more willing to share my time with others and to just be more generous overall. Perhaps I too need to take on a "one good deed" year-long challenge and see how much I can do to brighten other people's days. Anyone care to join me?

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