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What have you done for someone else today?

My awesome friend and sponsor Cecil Drummond inspired this message with his post recently about “A random act of kindness”.

In 1977 I was feeling pretty miserable. There was a thankless minimum wage job (3.50 hr. if I remember correctly), a car that was broke down so I had to walk to work, and thankless family, and I felt like crap. I was trying to recover from alcoholism and life was not getting better nearly as fast as I thought it ought to.

In desperation I called a counselor and at 10:30 he was sitting across from me listening to my endless litany of troubles when he firmly interrupted me and gently asked “Have you done anything for someone else this morning?”

How could anyone ask such a stupid question?!! Of course not! I didn’t have enough money to even buy lunch… but he was not to be deterred and repeated the question. When I tried to explain how dire my situation was, he stopped me and said

Tell you what, you go do something nice for someone else, no matter how trivial and if you still feel this badly afterward I will cancel all my appointments for the rest of the day and listen to whatever you want to talk about.”

Not surprisingly, I never had to go back.

Nowadays I have a bookmark with several things I try to do every day. One of the items is “Do something nice for someone without them knowing about it. If they find out, then it doesn’t count.”

Guess what? My days are WAY better when I do this. If you haven’t tried it, feel free to give it a shot. What can it hurt?

One more thing… My first thought is always to do things in a big way, so when I asked a friend for a suggestion, she said “Well you can always leave some coins in the pop machine.”


Really, it’s that simple.