In Light of Tragedy, Do a Good Turn

I’ve been thinking a lot about the tragedy in Newtown. It’s horrible, and it leaves me feeling horrible, scared, and helpless. I can’t control the frightening, terrible things in this world, but I can control what I do and how I act. I’ve resolved to be on the lookout for the things I can do to spread love, kindness, and generosity.  Not just today, or this week, or until we reach an arbitrary number of good things, but in my life, all the time.

It’s easy, sometimes, to contribute to a “showy” charity or volunteer event, like a Fun Run benefiting disease research. We make it particularly easy at Christmastime, when Angel trees show up even in the malls, and Santas ring bells outside of the grocery store, and we ostentatiously pile gifts up for people in need. And the financial donations pour in to the Red Cross after huge disasters of all kinds. And those are all good things, but I think we can always make more room for good deeds in our lives.  Giving money, or items, or time are all important, but we—or at least I—can do those things from a comfortable distance.

It’s too easy to get secluded and ignore others when we can help, or make someone’s day in a small way. It doesn’t have to be anything big—in fact, I think it’s probably better that we offer up many small things than only one big thing—but I think, in light of these kinds of tragedies, the best we can do is to reach out and connect with other human beings in our world. Not via indirect donations (but those are good, too, and worth continuing!), but also through personal, human, interactions.

I’m going to watch for the Good Turns I can do. I hope maybe you’ll keep an eye out for the Good Turn you can do, too.


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