The other day, as soon as I entered the hospital where I frequently work, a little old lady approached me looking confused. She was one of those little old ladies that are still trying, that haven’t yet succumbed to old lady clothes and old person hygiene habits and even though her wig wasn’t on quite straight and her lipstick was applied a little outside of the lines she was nattily dressed- just a cute little thing.
Anyway, she approached me and asked if I knew the way to the Emergency Room parking lot where she had left her car the night before. I thought about giving her directions through the hospital and out to the E.D. but figured the number of turns would probably confuse her and get her lost and decided right there and then to go the extra mile and escort the cute little old lady to the E.D. my-own-self. (You have to realize, me being a Type-ME personality, this was totally aberrant behavior) So, gently placing a hand on her shoulder, I told her I’d be happy to take her to the E.D.
The look of radiant relief washing over her wrinkly little face could’ve melted snow.
As we walked, the cute little old lady told me that she had had to bring her husband into the E.D. the night before because of some internal bleeding and that their doctor was going to perform a colonoscopy later in the day. I tut-tutted and oh-noed in all the right places and told her that I hoped her husband would be all right- all the while wondering what all this escorting was doing to my already busy schedule and why I’d even bothered.
But then we reached the E.D. and a weirdly wonderful thing happened.
When I opened the door to the E.D. for her and she saw, and clearly recognized, a familiar space within all of the unfamiliar uncertainties of the past several hours, she looked up at me with the warmest smile of thanks I have a ever seen and a little thing cracked in me just a little and a little flickering light lit in me and after she had left and I was walking back to start my day the flickering little light warmed in me and grew into a resolve to do something for someone else each and every day.
But, as usually happens, my reality slapped me and my flickering little light guttered.
I work largely alone, especially when I’m driving the big truck so my interaction with other people is pretty limited, meaning that a good deed every single day might be a bit too much of a challenge. I mean, I could probably keep escorting the cute little old lady if she kept showing up and forgetting where she was when I was working at the hospital, but what are the chances of that?
So then I thought that maybe weekly might be a more attainable goal- until it occurred to me that there are 52 weeks in the year. That’s still a pretty big number of good deeds to be doing.
So monthly. Surely I could find one good deed a month to accomplish and feel good about myself. How hard could a monthly good deed be? But then I remembered how busy my schedule is and how hard it is just to post a stupid blog once a month or so.
So finally I’ve settled on an annual good deed. Once each year, I’m going to find someone who needs my help and, gosh darn it, I’m gonna help that person and stop thinking about me-me-me all the time; just like I did with that cute little old lady the other day.
And while I realize it’s a rigorous goal, I think it’s one I can meet. I mean, I’m already good to go for 2016 and I figure that since my first good deed was in November which is close to December which, let’s face it, is right around the corner from 2017, I’m thinking I’ve pretty much filled up my good deed dance card until 2018- leaving me plenty of time to find a good deed to do and someone to do it to.
Wish me luck.