Someone once said, the smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention. Tyler Perry did a Good Deed by helping a single mother with much-needed stability. Bono does good deeds with his humanitarianism. Clifford teaches lighthearted lessons on the value of helping others. I resolved to do one good deed daily during this holiday season. This week I am going to save on water by drinking hot toddies, leave peppermint bark on cars in store parking lots, take pizzas to employees at burger franchises, and drop off Victoria Secret catalog’s to fire stations for firefighter’s entertainment during down times. A lot of people expect something in return for their good deeds. Not that I need something in return, but if my house ever catches fire, those enchanting fire extinguishers will be there in two seconds flat. And I will do everything those helpful and handsome laddermen tell me to do.
My parents instilled the goodness of giving which eventually carried over into my adult life. Sainthood sort of ran in our family. Dad almost became a devout Jesuit priest until he succumbed to female allurement and married my mother. Then Mom progressed with fellowship by birthing a brood in between volunteering at church. I myself sat in pews week after week nodding off during dullish homilies, and praying for a little role reversal. God could be me, and I wanted to play God. I was convicted several times for petitioning both the pastor and the pope with my wise cracking ideas. However I did try following in the path of my parents by helping out. Like the time Momma asked where her eyeglasses were. I found them upstairs and proceeded to get them to her promptly by sending them down the banister in a laundry basket. I guess I had bobsledding on my mind.
I also engaged in the kindly act of shoveling snow by compacting eight inches of blizzardy substance onto the entire entryway making it into one heck of a slippery slide. In my defense, I was three. As I got older, I helped out by washing colored towels in Clorox without being asked. There’s been so much skepticism whether or not there’s intelligence on other planets. I’m sure my parents wondered if there would ever be intelligence in their own household. In order to be older and wiser, you have to start out much younger and dumber. Even though I never aspired to be a saint, I still felt the humongous temptation to be a good human being. Besides, if I didn’t practice acts of kindness, I wouldn’t get Christmas presents.
One year my own daughters and I took gifts to the hospital children’s ward on Christmas Day. Another season I took my youngest to a senior assisted living facility where we sang Christmas canticles. I can tell you this. I am far more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than by a bunch of elders who don’t appreciate off key caroling during the holiday season. It also tickled my heart helping an older lady friend rake her leaves, even though I expelled bitter expletives every time the wind picked up and blew the leaves all over the lawn again. The breezy unfairness could have kept me from ever offering to rake again.
I was smack dab in the middle of being awesome on another occasion when I helped a girlfriend carry stacks of books and other items for her yard sale. Blood saturated her two dollar lamp shade after my nasty paper cut. I endured yet another blow when she backed into her ten dollar rusty bicycle that fell into my shin, making memories that would last us both a lifetime. In the words of Crowded House, such love can make you weep, or make you run for cover. I did a major courtesy by not asking why she was selling her Mont Blanc pen and fourteen Chia Pets. Her plan was to get rid of everything and my plan was to not die from blood loss or tetanus in the process. Even though I sustained injuries to the tibialis and the nociceptor, I went home a hero. I expected to be in full finger and leg strength two days afterwards for my next good deed.
My boyfriend is a good-deeder. One day while leaving a restaurant with a bag of leftovers, we walked by a man who asked, “Got a hundred?” Now beggars normally ask for a dollar, or a quarter, or your whole wallet if they are holding a gun to your head. We thought it was rather gutsy of this guy and offered him our food instead. Walking away, apprehension begat kindred visions of kindness within my boyfriend’s soul. “I should have given him a hundred” he said, regretting it ever since. More recently while valet parking at a hotel, the young attendant turned over our keys and my guy reluctantly announced, “I only have a hundred.” The teen told us, “That’s okay, don’t worry about it.” Superb timing coupled with my beau’s huge heart prompted him to hand the kid a hundred dollar bill. You would have thought he gave the teen a Ferrari. I myself don’t have that kind of currency to hand over. I’m more prepared to do a quick dance routine or say… “Awww, would ya look at that! There’s a family of squirrels!”
God put me on this planet to accomplish a number of things. A warm chestnut praline latte is one way to a joyful existence, especially if I buy one for the person behind me at Starbucks. I did rob a restaurant a few times, but did my good deeds by returning their pens. And I’m forever replacing toilet paper rolls since some desperate soul may be the next person to need it. Those who can’t say something nice should say it in pig latin, or Yiddish, or at least fake Chinese, then repudiate with kind words and actions since saying and doing positive things have equal powers of well being. My beau compliments me continuously by expressing, “I hope your day is as nice as your butt.” It doesn’t get any better than that. I return the kindful praises by telling him, “I’m glad you aren’t a nut-case!” He assures me, “I’m glad you are!”