"Good things happen when you do good."
Have you ever heard of the author of this
month’s quotation? Wesley Autrey is a
construction worker in New York City who was
waiting for the subway when he saw a young
man having a seizure who had fallen from the
platform between the rails. With no time to
pull the young man up onto the platform, Mr.
Autrey dropped on top of him and held him in
a foot deep space under the oncoming train.
Five cars passed over the two men until the
train was able to stop. Mr. Autrey said he
doesn’t think of himself as a hero. He just
believes that he did what was right. You can
read his story here.
What have you done lately that could be
considered “doing good”? I’m not talking
about the good things that people expect you
to do. And I’m not talking about heroic
behavior like that performed by Mr. Autrey.
What have you done lately that is above and
beyond the usual good behavior that I know
everyone who reads my newsletter does on a
regular basis? You don’t have to save a
person from being run over by a subway train
to “do good.”
Small Acts of Kindness
The other day, I stopped in Starbuck’s to
pick up my usual and the man in line in front
of me reached in his pocket to pay for his
drink. As he pulled his money out, an extra
5 dollar bill fell out. I picked it up and
handed it to him. He told me to keep it. I
was quite insistent that I couldn’t do that.
So he offered to buy my coffee. I agreed to
that. I know I felt good all day. My guess
is that he did, too. And from the look of
the smile on the cashier’s face, she felt
good, too. You see, doing good is contagious
and so is that buzz that you get when you do
it. (It wasn't just the caffeine.)
We know we feel good when we do good things.
So why don’t we do more of it? I think the
stress of our lives tends to make us forget
how good it can feel to let someone into the
line of traffic, to allow someone to go ahead
of you in line at the grocery store, to do a
favor for a complete stranger.
No appreciation? No problem.
Those skeptics out there will say that no one
these days appreciates it when you do good.
You’ll tell me that Mr. Autrey was lucky that
the young man he saved didn’t sue him for the
bruises he suffered from being held in that
space under the train. And I can’t disagree
with you. We are living in what seems to be
an angrier, more defensive, more aggressive
time. But isn’t that all the more reason for
trying to “do good”?
One of my favorite speakers, Wayne Dyer,
talks about the increase in serotonin (that
chemical in the brain that makes you feel
better and may increase your immune system)
that happens to you and the people around you
when you “do good”. I have yet to see any
scientific evidence that supports Dyer’s
claims, but I believe it. I know that when I
“do good” I feel better. I feel happier. I
also know that when I feel good, I tend to
stay healthy. The reverse is also true –
that when I am unhappy, I am more likely to
get colds and the flu. So if there is a
chance that I can increase my immune system
by doing good, why wouldn’t I do it,
especially when it makes me feel better?
Creating your own A+ Life requires you to
focus on the positive aspects of your life,
to understand that what you focus on expands.
If you look for opportunities to "do good,"
I believe you will have more beneficial
things happen to you.
Try it this week. As you go through each
day, look for an opportunity to do someone a
favor. Put on a smile and let people know
you feel good. Do good – for the people
around you, for yourself, and for our community.