“If you’re going to do something, do it.”
– Richard Gere, in the 1994 movie Intersection
These days, it seems everyone has opinions about how everyone else ought to live. No matter which side of the political spectrum, policy issue, or lifestyle topic you’re on, you probably think the world would be better if people would just do what you think they should (drive less, go to church more, stop watching TV … there are many opinions).
Actually, not quite everyone. Consider No Impact Man – One guy (and his family) trying to undertake great change in his life, and simply writing about the experience so that other may learn. He makes a point of not telling you what to do in your own life. He just opens a window into his own, in case you’re interested. The result is a refreshing, inviting, and ultimately inspiring environment.
Inspired partly by the efforts of individuals like No Impact Man, I’ve decided to undertake a very simple project: Do something good (that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise) every day. That’s it. I’ll write it up here and perhaps provide photo documentation, when possible.
What’s your definition of “good”?
By “good,” I just mean something, no matter how small, that generally makes the world a better place to live. There are many possibilities–helping someone cross the street, doing volunteer work, calling an old friend, giving to charity… Granted, there will probably be those who disagree with how “good” certain actions are (or if they’re even good at all), but hopefully common sense can be our guide. And even if you have a problem with one thing, hopefully you’ll see the whole project as a net positive contribution.
Why write about your good deeds? Isn’t that egotistical?
Perhaps. I can certainly see why people would think that. But the reason I’m writing this blog is that I’m hoping that my attempt as a regular, not particularly altrustic individual to do good things, not just occassionally, not just when it’s convenient, but every day, will be interesting, informative, and perhaps even inspirational for others.
Does every good turn have to be different?
Ideally, yes, although it’s probably inevitable that at some point I’ll repeat myself. Doing something a second time is better than doing nothing.
Who are you?
My name is Josh, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I develop software by day, and am married to the most wonderful woman I know.
What if you can’t keep it up?
At least I tried. It’s better than not trying.