Be good for something.

Day 263 of 365

It has been a tough week on my empathetic soul.

I have had to take on some extra classes at work to help some colleagues struggling with COVID and long COVID, so in addition to just be worn from the work, I am worried about my fellow writing professors having such struggles. Then, there was the sad and angry man at the grocery store who was so upset about groceries prices. I also have some friends and family really struggling from grocery prices, and I worry things won’t get better. I read an opinion piece by an economist who said it’s possible that things, in general, may never be cheap again, that climate change is causing at least some of this economic turmoil. I can see this, so this makes me worry. Then, there were a few things that happened today that just kind of made me despair for the world.

Thankfully, thankfully, I have learned what helps me when I despair for the world–kindness. Even if it’s just a small thing.

I remembered this tonight when I had a distant friend, who has been struggling with health problems, commented on the new candles I made this week and wanted to know if they were going to be on sale in the Etsy shop. They will be if I can ever make the time to do it, but I thought to myself, “oh, maybe it would lift her spirits to just get one on the mail!” I mean, people send me gifts in the mail sometimes, and I am like a kid at Christmas. So I love to send gifts too.

Ron used to think I was over-acting when I received gifts from people. Maybe some others have thought this about me. One time my sweet neighbor said, “It’s just a dish towel, Crystal.” But I was like, “but it has chickens on it!”

I am not acting. When people are kind to me, and I so deeply grateful that it just comes out–all gushy like.

So I asked my friend to send her address to me, and she seemed so happy! And then I felt happy. Really happy. I forgot my despair, and then I remembered–it’s the kindness. So I will get to work figuring out some more kindnesses I can do for others and focus on doing good work. That’s how I keep from despairing.

I certainly realize that small kindnesses are not going to fix the world, but they will fix me and help the people around me. And that has to be a good thing–being good for something in some small way.

One of Thoreau’s famous quotes is, “Be not simply good. Be good for something.” This is the truth, isn’t it?

photo credit: Laura Gilchrest, Unsplash

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