Well, almost everyone is doing some good in the world, just by being in it. This earth needs caretakers, of its inhabitants and of their environment. The psychopaths, sociopaths, and other truly disturbed folks are the exception, of course, as with everything else.
Even then the worm in the apple doesn’t totally ruin the apple, at least as long as we haven’t bitten into the worm itself. (I know, I know. That’s gross!) We can just take a knife, cut out the wormy section of the apple and eat the rest. We definitely salvage the apple if we grew up poor and learned never to waste anything. Who knew where our next apple was coming from? And I know that’s true for so many millions still today, who struggle to feed their families.
Opportunities to Help Out
Can we compare that apple to our world? There is so much need for good in the world and so many millions of people willing to rally to root out either the nastiness others have sown in it or the plain old hardships of life on this earth. Those people who want to help when they can just need to know where and how to help, especially when the needs are local. The bigger charities have greater access to publicity and therefore to funds on a national and sometimes global level, but even they are struggling to meet the staggering needs of our world.
My own mailbox is flooded with charitable solicitations. One day recently I counted 16 of them, all delivered on the same day. Even if only half of them have achieved a good rating on Charity Navigator, I can’t possibly make that many cash donations. And my Inbox is even worse. It happens because similar charities share their mailing lists. In some ways, that’s counterproductive but they do it in hopes of drawing in new contributors to their own worthwhile programs.
Sharing our Time
One of the good ways to help, when health permits, is to share our time with good causes and have fun while doing it. A growing list of them is at www.justserve.org and many communities across the nation are already participants. Enter your zip code to see what might be happening in your area. If health issues interfere, there are often projects that can be worked on at home. Also, enter something similar to “charity projects to do from home” in Google and a list of websites will display. When visited, these will give you a variety of ideas for items that are needed the most. We can also pay attention to what local friends and neighbors are talking about where we might offer our help.
If you’d prefer that no one else knows that you’re quietly helping others, there are plenty of ways to perform secret acts of kindness. Some people just don’t want to be written up in the newspaper or to be in TV news reports. Also, setting the bar too high for yourself might lead to feelings of discouragement and no one needs that. Or you will succeed so well that many others will demand more and more filets of you. That leads to burnout.
Showing respect for all of God’s creations is a great way to do good in the world. If I were a Buddhist, I’d sweep run-of-the-mill ants out of my way instead of stepping on them by accident. But I do draw the line at cockroaches, fire ants, and other nasties. They definitely get “squashed like a bug” in my life, even if they are just doing their own thing. Other living creatures deserve to live free of fear and free of suffering.
Do you have stagnant water in your yard, maybe from an ugly hole in the ground that used to be a fishpond? Don’t forget to buy Mosquito Dunks and toss one of them into the water every 30 days. You don’t want to be responsible for anyone catching West Nile Virus or other mosquito-borne viruses that can cause severe illness.
Places like Home Depot and Lowe’s or a garden supply center may have Mosquito Dunks. Since my time is already packed solid with have-to-do writer stuff, I finally gave up on them in frustration and ordered the dunks from Amazon.
When both health and time are restricted, don’t forget that smile, especially if you swing around to the next aisle at the supermarket and find a real grouch glaring at you. Everyone is doing some good in the world just by being here, even the grump. He’s giving you the chance to do something kind. We can all change someone else’s life for the better along our way.