Something Bright and Good - - Archived

Changing the Environment Around Us
8-16 Feature_Something Good_webBy Marie Pappas

Make a happy moment

Lately, I keep thinking about a story I once heard about a family going through a crisis. All day long they went from appointment to meeting and got nothing but bad news and worse treatment. When they were finally on their way home, the mother noticed a homeless person and stopped to buy them dinner from a food cart. Her children asked why she did it, and she replied, “I needed something bright and good to remember about today, even if I had to create that moment myself.”

I think this story has resonated with me because every time I load up a news site or read through social media, there is no shortage of terrifying or sad things to read about, and it’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But while we may not be able to change the world, we can be agents for something bright and good, and in helping others, maybe we can help ourselves too. We can change the immediate environment around us, and make our world a better and brighter place to live.

Philosophy without action being only so much hot air, I’ve been keeping a list of ideas in my back pocket lately, ready to put to work as weapons against the dark. Try giving one a shot today. Maybe you’ll find a little something bright and good, even if you had to create it yourself!

  • Write a note or a card to a teacher in your life thanking them for the amazing work that they do, or have done.
  • Go to a diner and order just a coffee, leaving as generous
    a tip as you can afford.
  • If you notice someone’s parking meter is about to expire, drop some change into it.
  • Check in on a retired neighbor and see if they need anything.
  • Put away your cell phone when going through a cash register. Look the cashier in the eye, smile, and thank them sincerely.
  • Message a friend to tell them how much they mean to you.
  • When cooking something that keeps well like chili, pasta, casseroles, or baked goods, make double and bring the extra to someone who’s had a hard week.
  • Compliment someone who gave you good service to their supervisor.
  • Help someone who’s struggling to carry or unload their shopping.
  • Call a relative or family friend just to say hello and see how they are.
  • Buy or make up a platter of fruit, veggies, and cold cut sandwiches for the local ER nurses or fire department and bring it by for no particular reason.

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