People want to do good

My brother and I had a beer yesterday. He’s going through something and is feeling a little bitter and hopeless. He turned to me and said, ‘are we just here to take all we can get and that’s it?’. I told him this story.

I recently read an article in the newspaper that made me cry. A local reporter did a story about a trailer park in Surrey ( just outside Vancouver). It is rundown. They have lost their power and running water. It is full of shady prostitutes, drug dealers, and thieves, but among them is a guy who doesn’t belong, but can’t get out. He suffers from mental illness so he is on disability, but he’s a good guy, been clean and sober for 5 years, and just wants to live a quiet life with his little dog. His trailer is so beaten up that another trailer park won’t take him. He’s stuck. Or at least he was.

What made me cry was that he felt so hopeless and inconsequential. Like a piece of garbage that no one cared or wanted to help him.

Long story short, a fundraiser was started, we all got involved, and through some wonderful people, we’ve raised enough money to get him a new trailer and give him a new life.

The moral of the story is that people do want to help each other. Apart from a few douchey self centred folks, people are inherently good. It’s in us.

I work for a radio station once in a while and I mentioned it on air. Within 2 hours 15 people had gone by where he was with dinner and clothing. Nobody made them do it. They did it out of the goodness of their hearts. We all pitched in and raised $6000, to which an anonymous donor is going to match. An RV company will give us a great deal on a trailer for him.

Not one person had a gun to their head. Not one of us got anything out of this deal other than the knowledge that we were helping out a fellow human being. And I gotta tell you, it feels pretty damn good.

I told my brother this. He cried. For two reasons: 1) it made him grateful because he has it way better than this guy. 2) he was reminded that humans can be wonderful. Not always. Hell no! not even close….but most of us would help someone in need given the chance.

Something for you to think about.
1) when yer feeling shitty about you day/life/whatever, remember that someone out there probably has it way worse. They’d kill to be in your shoes.
2) let people help you. It gives then worth, too.
3) do something good for others. I volunteer. I get ten times more out of it than i give. There is something (other than karma) that we get out of doing something for others that doesn’t involve getting something in return. Good for the soul. Depressed? Go help someone. Feeling cruddy and self esteem taking a beating? Go help someone else. You will NEVER regret it. And if you do, I’ll give you your money back.

And if you think you can’t make a difference as one person, just smile at someone today and see how it lifts their spirits.

If we’re not here to o help and support each other then what are we doing here?

XO
Sam

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14 Responses to People want to do good

  1. Ralph Tieleman says:

    Thanks for that

  2. eldwenne says:

    So SO true. I’ve had a-plenty of pity parties thrown for myself. I teach art every Monday night at the Hoboken Shelter. I get over myself pretty quickly after that.

  3. Chrisie says:

    Awesome story Sam! I totally agree for me I raise money for 2 different charities 1 in actor Chris Colfer’s name for NYU FACES to raise awareness & research for epilepsy (which his little sister has) so far I’ve raised over $6000 chriscolferarmy4faces.org , giving.nyumc.org/chriscolfer and the second is in the name of the late Cory Monteith for Chrysalis LA this is rather new so I’ve only raised a few hundred dollars but my first goal is $5k remembercory.org , crowdrise.com/remembercory

  4. Sam says:

    I am trying to encourage my 8th grade students to do things like this – not give money necessarily, but just be kind to each other. Every Friday I ask them what random kind deed they did that week. Some of them stare silently. But some of them have genuinely done something nice, just for the sake of being nice. When I ask them how it made them feel, they admit that it made them feel really good. I’m trying to show them that we are all important, and it’s essential for us to be good to each other. Monday I am going to share your story with them. Perhaps the others can be inspired as well. Thanks, Sam!

  5. Bethy says:

    Last May, I mentioned in my journal that I didn’t know how I was going to put food on the table or gas in my car for the next week prior to payday. Within an hour, my friends had raised $400 to feed my family and get us through the rough patch. I was amazed and humbled. This last week, I was able to pay a little forward by helping another friend with her electric bill when she was going to be disconnected. Between what I was able to give, and her other friends, we covered it for her and gave her a little breathing space. People can be amazing. You just have to look for it because so often it’s treated as un-newsworthy.

  6. This is heart-warming to read. And even more so to see the personal stories people have posted as well. It’s great to know that humanity still exists, despite everything you hear in the newspapers.

  7. Kim says:

    A wonderful blog, once again. The past 6 months have been rough financially, but this month has been the worst. A good deed I did last year (against my better judgment) has continued to bite me in the rear. I’m hoping that changes when this person starts a new job next month. Anyway, the thing that keeps me from getting totally depressed is knowing that there are plenty of folks who have it way worse. I can still pay my bills and feed myself & my pets, so I’m doing good. Thanks again for offering that, sometimes, much-needed perspective.

  8. Leigh Ann Wallace says:

    .I like stories like that. It’s a good reminder that people are good at heart. It’s just that shitheads tend to get more press.

  9. chrissie0770 says:

    Thanks for this story. Sometimes I forget that even though I am feeling hopeless and struggling, there is still someone else that has it worse then I do, and I need to be thankful for what I have instead of what I think I don’t have.

  10. Heather says:

    Sam,
    What a beautifully worded reminder to be thankful for what we have, thankful for what we don’t, and to be kind to each other in the process.
    Thank you for this wonderful post….xoxo

  11. Maya says:

    There is always someone that is worse off, even if you live in a warzone fearing for your life, no one is at the bottom of that chain unfortunately. Very nice message in the blog post. And you have more faith in humans than I do, which is nice 🙂 You’re a bit like a philosopher. Keep it up! ❤

  12. Ryan says:

    “2) let people help you. It gives then worth, too.”

    Struck a nerve. I’m in my first healthy relationship after 27 years of (familial/friend) emotional abuse, and I’m trying so hard to learn this in place of “you don’t deserve help/you brought this on yourself, you fix it yourself/you’re supposed to be better than needing help” that I was raised with. Thank the gods for my patient man.

  13. So true! All three of your points apply to us (maybe I should blog about it too … hmmmm)

    We’re a quirky family – in that my hubby and three boys all have the same rare disorder. Back when I was new to this crazy idea of being a special needs mother and seriously having trouble dealing with yet another diagnosis, I had the chance to meet another parent whose two children were born with a different rare genetic disorder – a fatal one. I have always been grateful that I learned early – it can always be worse. And not in an insignificant and pithy way that people have when they try to “comfort” you, but in the down and gritty knowledge that others truly have deeper heartache to live through, and if they can do so with grace and dignity so can we.

    The challenges we each have seem insurmountable to us – they’re ours, after all – but compared to the daily reality others face it’s insignificant. By the same token, they are our own battles. As a special needs parent we often forget that allowing others to help us also helps the other person. It’s too easy to become isolated and struggle within that isolation. We’ve learned (and forgotten!) over the years that sometimes we can accept help from others because it gives them a way to help, to feel useful, to add something to an otherwise unfathomable situation.

    When we give, we receive – and it sounds corny because people say it all the time without having a clue what it really means – but it is true. When we give of ourselves to others we receive so much in return – it’s an emotional return more than anything else in my case, but it’s a big deal.

    Great post – glad I discovered you had a little ol’ blog 😉

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