Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I have to admit that I am taken by the sheer creativity the iPhone entails, expresses, and encourages. It is an impressive piece of technology that has allowed people to communicate in an infinite number of ways: through text, email, phone, photo, video and many more that I'm not even aware of. Recently a friend showed me an app entitled DoGood. The app works on a simple premise; each day the subscriber is given a directive to "do good" in a specific way during the course of their day. The challenge is to achieve each good deed, each day, for a year. There is even an ingenious tracking mechanism build in; a "done" button. And DoGood tracks the number of people who have accomplished the task each day.

On the day in question the good deed was to "thank a teacher who made a difference in your life." Well, that got me thinking. How much does it take for us to stop for a moment and do a good deed? How much does it take to stop for a moment and be grateful? And imagine what the world, or even our immediate community, or simply our own family, would be like if we made an effort to do one good thing within that community each day?

Often I encourage my clients to "spy" on the world for good behavior. I encourage them notice what is positive about the world and about people. It's a pithy little instruction perhaps, but it proves to be effective at lifting people gently out of depression, despair, grief, and hopelessness. The smiles that have been hidden for some time often return gently and resolutely with this simple shift in focus.

There is much talk about change being difficult, a struggle, challenging, even impossible. But I think that we often make too much of change. Change, all change, happens in an instant. To use the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu, change erupts! And eruptions are dependent on continuous, small, collective forces that develop into unstoppable change.

Perhaps it's as simple as observing, and perhaps doing, one. good. deed.

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