Do Something

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I was on Facebook this morning, tooling around, looking to see what friends have posted and being inundated by advertisements, many from charities asking for donations.

There are a few charities to which I routinely donate, most on the smaller side of the business, those who slip beneath the radar and can really use the support. Even though I give of my dollars, and sometimes my time, I can’t help but feel I should be doing more, adopting just one more charity, buying one more this-or-that to help support a cause. I can’t, of course, and maybe neither can do. We’re tapped out, but there are always more hands reaching, more pleas being launched.

I’ve discovered that I can contribute in other ways if I only take the time to think about it. Returning my grocery cart (what we call ’em back home in upstate New York; down here in Connecticut they’re known as carriages) to the specially-designed location rather than leaving it cattywumpus or blocking a parking space can be an act of charity. The person assigned to police those carts saves time (and exposure to inclement weather) when they’re lined up neatly, a parking space might be freed up, and the cart is kept from catching the wind and flying across the lot to smack into someone’s vehicle. Heck, while you’re at it, straighten all of them. It doesn’t take long.

Pick up trash, your own as well as that of others. They might never learn to clean up after themselves, but maybe one person will see you doing it and decide to do the same. And if they don’t, who cares? You’re doing it.

Today I plan to begin toting a grocery sack with me when I walk the dog so I can pick up the bundles of dog poo left behind by those conscientious citizens who feel they’re fulfilling their duty by cleaning up after their pup, but who can’t be bothered to take the additional step to actually tote it home and toss it into the garbage. (If that sounds a tad snarky, it is. This is a particular bug-a-boo for me, as the walk in question is through protected wetland. People might be more inclined to carry the poop bags out if there was a garbage can at the parking lot, but we don’t have those because, of course, certain individuals find them fun to upend and strew. But, seriously, what’s the big deal to bring it home and trash it? Why this sense that someone else ought to clean up after your dog because …? Of your fancy car? The amount in your bank account? Because you’re so much better than they are? I don’t get it.

Do something. Hold a door. Offer to help someone struggling with bags to carry them to their car. Smile at a stranger. To paraphrase Dr. Who, as played by Peter Capaldi:

Never be cruel.
Never be cowardly.
Hate is always foolish.
Love is always wise.
Always try to be nice.
Never fail to be kind.
Laugh hard.
Run fast.
Be kind.