It doesn’t take much – today I witnessed a good deed – a jogger stopped for a minute to give a homeless woman a bag. As I surreptitiously watched, the old woman eventually pulled out sample sizes of assorted creams and lotions – even started to read the labels. The jogger kept going – probably to one of the nearby hotels with those free samples left everyday by the maid.
Books about do-gooders can get schmaltzy – no matter how well-meaning. Greg Mortenson has a new book, Stones Into Schools, – the sequel to Three Cups of Tea.
Need some quick, clear inspiration? Read a children’s book – Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Day by Pearson and Kosaka has the random acts of kindness theme in under 20 pages – and you can read it online…
And there’s Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Pay It Forward (remember the movie?) – also online…
For more adult fare, there’s The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness by Lee Alan Dugatkin – goodness can be explained, it seems, by a simple mathematical formula.