“How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
So says the Bard himself, Mr. William Shakespeare, and there is little doubt that doing something good for someone will usually brighten their day. Even a small kindness can leave the recipient feeling loved and cared for.
Judith O’Reilly decided to ‘do a good deed a day for a year because a good deed a day might make [her] a better person.’ She had watched her parents work tirelessly for the good of others and felt that she should do likewise. She did this not only for personal gain but also as an example to her own children. At the end of that very busy and stressful year Judith asked her three children if they had been inspired to do more good themselves. “No!” was the unanimous answer, and she was left hoping that ‘they will only do one good deed that they otherwise might never have done. And that one good deed will make it all worthwhile.’
C. S. Lewis, the acclaimed author of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ wrote “If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.” We may never be thanked for our good deeds but that doesn’t mean that we should stop doing them. Showing kindness towards others may never be noticed but they may have far reaching consequences.
Mrs O’Reilly’s parents have never been honoured for their work, and they don’t expect to be. They are just ‘good people with good intentions living good lives.’ So whether for the sake of those who need them, to make ourselves feel better or to inspire others maybe ‘a good deed a day’ isn’t such a bad idea.