Friday 1 July 2011

Feeling good about doing good

There is a thing happening on the interwebs at the moment about a certain blogger travelling to a third world country to promote a cause. There has been a newspaper article written and some blog posts and a Twitter stoush. I don't know the details well enough to accurately write about it, so I won't. Reading some comments and hearing things about charity has set off some thought processes in my head, though, and now I just have to write about it. I was also inspired by the always inspiring Eden.

We live in a funny society. We're being told that we need to cover ourselves in brand name clothing, logos blaring across our chests. We need to purchase certain cosmetics, cause after all, we're worth it. We live in a society where we are constantly told we need to make ourselves feel better in any way possible – running the whole gamut from rampant consumerism to eating well and meditating. We're constantly fed the idea: "Do what you can to find happiness." Except when it comes to one thing.... charity.

If you attempt to help someone either through a charity or doing a good deed, we're told not to talk about it or it's seen as boasting. It's not uncommon to hear: "They're just doing it make themselves feel good." "They're just a smug do-gooder."

So, it's OK to be smug and feel good about your 60 inch plasma and your new Louis Vuitton bag, but throw a couple of dollars to a charity or help your little old nextdoor neighbour with their shopping and you can't feel happy about it? It seems crazy to me. What's wrong with feeling good about doing something good? Maybe we could spread the idea that helping and doing good feels good and perhaps more people might give it a whirl.

Why do we have to feel guilty about feeling good about doing what we can to make someone else's life just a little bit better? Can't we make our short time on this planet a good time for all?

Then when people attempt to do something good, they're accused of not going the whole way. Their motives are questioned and it's not good enough. They could have done it better, they should have done it this way, what they're doing is useless. For goodness sake, no wonder there's so few people attempting to do good deeds, why bother when you're just going to get run down.

We're told when we travel: "Don't give money to beggars it just encourages them. Give to aid agencies who can handle it properly." Then we're told, "Only X% of aid money gets through to the people who needs it." So, no wonder we keep our money in our pockets (and save it for the cosmetics, because we're worth it after al).

Let's encourage the good people in the world to do good things, no matter how big or small, let's not be so mistrusting. We've all got instincts, let's use them to do what's right. Sure, keep questioning, but don't discourage. Now, get out of that chair and do something nice for someone, somewhere and make sure you feel good about it. Then repeat and repeat.

*Yes, I admit that my ideas are naive, but life isn't as complicated as we'd sometimes like to make out.


  1. Love it Corinne x (and Eden) x

  2. So happy to see this post! You are absolutely right! I started a blog a while back about doing good deeds for others...please click the link and have a read (there are only 2 posts). I put it on my FB page at the time (admittedly I wasn't a part of any blogging networks then) but it just never took off. I was hoping people would just want to do good deeds for others/surprise others with little gifts etc. It didn't have to involve money. No takers :(

  3. So true Corrine, and so very well put. Am off to retweet right now x

  4. It's really well put - I started following a bit of the trail and it just got me annoyed. To think that someone should be chastised for supporting a charity or doing charitable works is just wrong. The saddest thing is that the people usually doing the chastising are not doing anything for anyone else apart from themselves. Since I started my business I've been more conscious of giving back. I don't have a lot of extra cash (I give when I can) so I give my time - I work on a charity committee that helps sick kids in my local area and I mentor high school students who may want to pursue journalism as a career. I don't do this for any accolades. I do it because I can and I want to do my bit, however small.

  5. Yes!!
    Super 'good' post!
    Well said.

  6. This is such an important post. I always wish I could give more to every charity I see that pulls at my heart but when you don't have the funds I think there are other ways. Simple acts like motioning to someone with a car full of rowdy kids trawling a busy car park that your space is going to be free is so easy to do. I know it won't change the world but a random act of kindness might just make someone's day a little brighter...

  7. I am 100% for any one with a little bit of a media profile
    promoting charities and 3rd world struggles. I logged onto the web on Thursday and read Dooce's post. It reminded me of something I had wanted to promote a long time ago and so I wrote a post about it and donated a chunk of change.

  8. Corinne, I love what you wrote so much. Your tweets and comments the past few days have actually made me tear up. You get it - it's simple really. Well, it should be, anyway.

    Us humans have impeccable ways of complicating everything.

    There's a whole spin-off in regards to what I wrote the other day. It's going to be AWESOME!! Will email you in the next few days XOX


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