Thursday, February 7, 2013

Doing Good

In church on Sunday (or maybe a couple a Sundays ago) we sang, "Have I Done Any Good?"  I learned this song in Primary and just laaaaaa-hove it.  Let's sing it together!  You can sing it in your head if you want.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped any one in need?
Have I cheered up the sad?
Or made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.

Has anyone's burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there

Then waaaaaaaaaake UP(!) and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, 
a joy beyond measure
A blessing of duty and love. 

I added a little emphasis there on the chorus.  What?  That's how I sing it.  I normally straighten my posture right there too.  Right there on the "up" I just like to pop up.  I've been humming this song around the house.  There's been a lot of do-goodery towards me lately.

Lets start with my neighbor, Cloyd.  Cloyd lives all by himself and has Fallow Deer and a tractor.  (Just wanted to throw it in about the deer. They are unrelated to this story.)  Any time it snowed this year and he saw me out there breaking my back and sweating through my parka trying to shovel... he fired up the tractor.  Rolled down to my house and plowed the driveway in five minutes.  And he'd salute me and Kole then drive on home.

Another woman, Ruth, brought me warm bread.  She baked bread!  From... what?... yeast?  And flour!  And love.  Cheesy but true.

Then, a couple days ago on Facebook, I put that I wasn't ready for the day...the Kenster took the car... and I could really use a Coke.  And wouldn't you know it... just like rubbing a genie's lamp... my friend, Kristi brought a Coke over.  It was Diet... but I was overcome with love and was tearing up so didn't hold it against her.  She probably figured I must drink Diet to look as smoking good as I do.

I'm always getting straight out blessed for no reason.  These 3 all happened in the last week.  Maybe it's been a week since we've had snow but Cloyd's been around.   All these acts sure has made me think.... Have I cheered up the sad?  Have I made someone feel glad?

Meh. Doubt it.

My first reaction was oh HECK yeah.  My kids.  All day every day.  I'm getting them what they need, playing with them, feeding them, rubbing cream on their rash-y ashies.  But.  When I thought about it.  That probably doesn't count.  I'm their mom.  I'm supPOST to do that stuff.
I haven't really helped anyone.  Perhaps.  Perhaps that is why I have felt so bleh.
But my chance to turn things around happened.
I found my chance to make a burden lighter when I was a Walmart.  I stopped there after going to the gym (25,000 points to Patty!) to reload our milk supply.  I walked over to the very last cashier the one by the produce that's 20 items or less.  I had only the milk.  There was a kid in front of me who might have been 18.  He was buying 3 Totino's pizzas and a 1 liter bottle of generic Mt. Dew.  The checker girl rang up the 3 pizzas and the boy slid the Mountain Mayhem (or whatever it's called) off to the side.  Out of the line of purchase.  He paid for the pizzas with what was left on a gift card and some change.  I just felt for the kid.  He had this plan in his head to go home and eat pizza and drink Mt. Dew and probably play World of Warcraft.  He had his night planned.  He had stopped at Walmart... and his math was wrong.  And he didn't have enough money.  Isn't that the worse feeling in the world?  Well... when you're 18.  And have a party planned for yourself.  He was going to have to eat all those pizzas with plain old water.  Talk about the pits.
So, with my new-found zeal to do good I said, "Do you want this drink?"
"Uh. No.  I don't.  I don't know why I picked it up.  It was an accident."
"I'll buy it for you.  You can get it."
"Oh.  No.  Don't do that.  I don't need it.  I don't really even want it. I think I have the money for it really."
And he started looking in his (obviously) empty wallet.
I looked at the checker and told her I wanted to buy the pop.
The kid just kept staring at me.
The pop cost 78 cents.
I gave it to him and he said, "I didn't think there were nice people in the world any more."
I told him to have a Happy Groundhogs Day.  And patted his shoulder.  I felt like my mom.

It felt good to do that for him.  Really good.  Way more than 78 cents worth of good.  It was really a pleasure.  A joy beyond measure.

The last verse to the song has a line that says:
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I'll try,"
But go and do something today.

Do.  Go do something.  Today.  Especially if you are feeling blue about something.  Or are in a rut.  Or you've been thinking of doing it for awhile.  Go.  Do it.

I always thought that last line was
"If not I have failed in deed."
not "...failed indeed."

And I think "in deed" is more suiting.  So I'm gonna stick with it.
Unless we want to add to it and make it... "If not I have failed in deed, indeed."
Just hold out that same note.


Juli said...

Makes me wonder why they didn't sing in my church... maybe I'd have gone more often.

I love random acts of kindness... I try to do them at least once a day. My random act for tomorrow? Keeping up with the snow (18 to 24 inches) that's coming for the entire neighborhoods cluster box mailboxes... so everyone can get mail, and Nick doesn't lose a toe to frostbite. :)

Beth Willmore said...

I can say this is the FIRST time your blog made me cry. Thanks for being an inspiration, I need to do MUCH better in this department and I keep thinking about how you completely made that boy's day by buying him a pop! Good job!

Kar said...

My sister and I used to sing that song all the time when she was a youngster and in Primary. We would do cheesy hand gestures with it, too. I'll bet she's forgotten it by now... I like to help people in grocery lines, too. Like, if someone is behind me and has only two things, I'm like, "Go ahead." That makes me happy.

johnandjana said...

Patty, thanks for reminding us how we need to be more charitable and to serve others.