Life Lesson #8: Don’t just WISH to be good, DO good.
Today’s life lesson was inspired by Dr. Seuss who said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
As I’ve told you before, I don’t take credit for much of the wisdom I write about, instead my job is merely to gather the wisdom together and point it out to you. From a poetic standpoint, one of my favorite works of all time is call “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Teachers will often tell you that to truly understand and appreciate a poem you’ll need to read it at least seven times to even begin to unlock its mysteries. While that may be true, I’m here to tell you that if you read Frost’s poem, you’ll love it from the first time because it’s that good. Here it is…
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood, and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same, and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
What This Means to YOU…
Your life will be full of different paths to choose from. More often than not you will have every intention to return to those ‘other’ roads you saw, but in many cases you will never return because as Frost writes ‘way leads on to way’ and life takes you elsewhere. Because of this I implore you to always remember this other bit of verse: “I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” We don’t know for sure who said this first but most believe it is from the Quakers of Pennsylvania. Regardless of who said it, the fact is that it is a wonderful piece of wisdom to remember and apply in your daily life.
Don’t Wait, Use This Wisdom Today…
Need some ideas? Consider these scenarios:
- You’re on the elevator and you see a stranger who seems a bit sad – perhaps a kind word from you will turn their day from gloomy to bright, perhaps even save their life. What did it cost you? Nothing. And you may never know the outcome of your kindness – but to that other person it could mean the world.
- You’re in a store parking lot and you see an older person struggling to put their groceries in their car – perhaps you take a moment out of your day and help them load their bags. A passerby may see you and be inspired to help someone they see later that day as well. Someone else could see them and do the same. And so on and so forth. Suddenly, due to something you started with your small gesture, the world becomes a better place.
- A classmate is really struggling and nobody seems to know why or care. What nobody knows is that your classmate’s family doesn’t have enough money to put enough food on the table at home and thus your classmate is hungry – truly starving. Seeing you little food your classmate has at the lunch table and seeing how they look at your food, you decide to quietly break your sandwich in half and slide some over to them. Nobody else has to know. Your classmate smiles and eats. Their day is a bit brighter. All thanks to you.
You get the idea and I’m sure you can think of numerous other examples. But the key point is this — do not wait to do your good deeds, do them now, because there is no guarantee that you or the person you are doing them for will meet again. The world is constantly moving and you with it, take every opportunity to do something good and you’ll be making the world a better place for all of us. And you’ll feel great about yourself too!
Did You Know?
Today’s lesson came from a book Jax and I wrote called Diary of a Minecraft Dad