If You Look You Will See Both
Good Deeds Are Petals of a Beautiful Flower…
There is a phrase “We never know the good that a smile can do”. Smiling at people is one of the smallest good deeds you can accomplish with the furthest reaching effects. There is no cost – only a moment of thought and a wealth of return, whether to us or others. We can be doers of this deed or recipients- both have positive effects.
Studies have shown that smiling releases “feel good” endorphins in our brains. There are articles advising people with low self esteem, or with a large event they are anxious about to smile at themselves in a mirror up to the count of ten to feel more self confident and ready to take on challenges with a pep in their step. Granted, you may think you look like a lunatic doing this exercise – but, the more you do it the better you will feel.
Having done this myself for years, whenever I remember to, or when I am facing a tense situation, I can attest to this working. By doing this exercise your face muscles are all ready to repeat the motion when coming into contact with people. Bingo! There is the first of your “Good Deeds”, or, the first petals in your “Feel Good Flower”.
Keeping this Good Deed to yourself however, is not the purpose. Good deeds are meant to be shared and passed on. Make it a daily goal to make eye contact and smile with at least ten people. Maybe a co-worker, a fellow bus or transit passenger, the barista (before you ask – smiling is not the same as a monetary tip😊), the harried check out person at the store- you get the general idea.
Wait just a minute you say….”Aren’t we supposed to be wearing face masks and isolating/ quarantining – how are they going to tell we are smiling?” These are unprecedented times. Some have taken to wearing a funny face mask, drawing a big grin on the outside of a paper mask. Not like a creepy clown – Yikes! A nice smile is what is needed. Plus when you smile your eyes twinkle and your voice gives away the fact you are smiling. True story.
Then there are larger “Good Deeds” that make the giver and receiver both feel better and appreciated. To give you a personal example of larger good deeds- I have friends who have bestowed help, love, and assistance in so many ways to me.
My personal situation has changed so drastically in the past two years and I often haven’t known how to ask for help. This has always been hard for me- and now I am in a situation that requires me to ask for help- not just a “petal” type of good deed, but sometimes a whole flower’s worth.
“Good Deeds” in all their glory.
Having personal health challenges and being recently widowed in addition to losing my daughter in a horrible way – has made me rely heavily on my community and congregation. My Husband was, for want of a better analogy, “John Wayne”. Hard working, do everything, keep everything maintained around the property, the vehicles always in excellent working order – kind of Guy. As his ALS progressed very quickly and robbed him systematically and rapidly of the ability to do these things – He was so upset and frustrated by the changes he was going through – it is the worst disease to be totally sane and have your body fail you.
Our friends stepped up – often without our even ever mentioning what we needed. Everything from picking up groceries and prescriptions to helping sell our large construction vehicles, and doing the “Good Deed” of simply “checking in” for no reason.
All of these things – if you mentioned these as “Good Deeds” to those people they would look at you in a puzzled way because to them they were simply helping out their friends. However, to us, the receipients of such kindness, we were genuinely overwhelmed with their love and the way they thought of things we needed often before we needed them.
After my Husband passed, it was a dark time. But having our friends pick up my mail, fix a carport that had fallen down due to snow, helping me sell vehicles that I had no clue how to go about doing, grabbing things for me in town that Amazon didn’t deliver, and any number of things to help me along – I have been able to keep “moving ever forward but slowly”. (They are still providing me tons of kindnesses large and small). After all, acts of kindness to others are good deeds as well- both large and small.
Being on the receiving end really touched my heart and motivates me to try to pay it forward as I am able.
Can you imagine if “Doing Good Deeds Large & Small” became the norm? All of these acts would help transcend the stress and anxiety that we are all undergoing for so many reasons: Covid, Lack of Employment, Being with Family Day in & Out (some find it a bit stressful), Home Schooling a Student that can’t seem to separate you as a parent and you as a teacher (don’t even bring up “new math”).
By doing Small and Large Good Deeds as we are able, and acting on the opportunities to pass them on as they present themselves. “We will never know the good”, or impact, “a smile may have” but, we can be sure that that impact will be positive and have a ripple effect – like a pebble dropped into a pond, those ripples will go on until we can no longer see them.
Keep adding petals to your “flower” – soon you will have a lovely bouquet that you may just want to give to someone….everyone loves to get flowers – it’ll make them smile.