How can we do good?

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SamBee
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

How can we do good?

Post by SamBee » 12 Mar 2017, 18:16

You know it's odd in English that do-gooder has such a negative meaning... but seriously how can one do good in this world? I don't feel I do enough good. I do some good things but they are undone to some extent by the bad I do.

So how can we do good?

I constantly face this dilemma. Take for example the issue of beggars - I never give money to beggars as I feel a lot of them are getting pimped or exploited. Does this make me judgemental? Yes I think it does. I tried to get around this issue by volunteering for a homeless charity as I felt I might be able to do some good for the homeless in a real way. However I rapidly realized said charity was more like a business in some ways - the directors were making large sums of money and I was slaving away for free. It got topped off when a friend of mine was homeless and actually went to them for help and they did little but direct him to the city's services. Well, he's okay now, but it took me back to.square one.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: How can we do good?

Post by Minyan Man » 12 Mar 2017, 18:45

SamBee wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 18:16
So how can we do good?
It's not always easy. When it comes to church, my DW & I set towards the back for sacrament meeting. That is where most people
who are uncomfortable or new sit. If we see someone that we don't recognize, we try to introduce ourselves. My wife is better at it than
I am. She's a nature. With me it takes work.

Recently I saw a friend of mine sitting in the back too. (My wife was home sick.) His head was in his hands & he didn't look well.
I asked if he was alright & he said no. I asked if he wanted to talk about it & he said no. So I said that I've found that no matter
what problem I have in life, it's always better to talk it over with someone you trust than to deal with it on your own. I then said
if you want someone to talk with, let me know. The reason I mention this is because I am naturally an unobserving person. (I don't think
that's a word.) I normally want people to leave me alone & in return, I'll do the same for you. If that make any sense.

I was home sick this week. We share everything with each other including colds.
Last edited by Minyan Man on 12 Mar 2017, 20:57, edited 1 time in total.

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mom3
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by mom3 » 12 Mar 2017, 20:57

For myself I have reconciled my doing good to "I am doing the best I can." Anymore than that and I wipe out.

The balance on this is impossible.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: How can we do good?

Post by SilentDawning » 13 Mar 2017, 06:23

SamBee wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 18:16
You know it's odd in English that do-gooder has such a negative meaning... but seriously how can one do good in this world? I don't feel I do enough good. I do some good things but they are undone to some extent by the bad I do.

So how can we do good?

I constantly face this dilemma. Take for example the issue of beggars - I never give money to beggars as I feel a lot of them are getting pimped or exploited. Does this make me judgemental? Yes I think it does. I tried to get around this issue by volunteering for a homeless charity as I felt I might be able to do some good for the homeless in a real way. However I rapidly realized said charity was more like a business in some ways - the directors were making large sums of money and I was slaving away for free. It got topped off when a friend of mine was homeless and actually went to them for help and they did little but direct him to the city's services. Well, he's okay now, but it took me back to.square one.
Very insightful. It does seem to work that way with certain organizations.

I have the following steps I've taken -- I've found those things that I'm truly passionate about, and I do them. find those service opportunities that really matter to you, that express your passions and talents, and do those things. Unfortunately, there's very little I can do in the church anymore -- that kind of service has little meaning to me anymore. Other than one assignment I have now.

The worlds needs are limitless, so determine something you are really passionate about, and do that.

I don't give money to people who are begging either. Something feels wrong about it. I feel like I'm enabling a bad habit. Perhaps I'll be punished for that given what the BoM says about giving substance to others.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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LookingHard
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by LookingHard » 13 Mar 2017, 06:39

I keep a set of $10 Macdonald's gift cards and give them out. Sometimes I can tell they are disappointed, but a few times I could tell the person was glad they were going to get a warm meal. I have heard of professionals that deal with the homeless and they said they would never give cash. It is better to have a list of places to get help and a meal.

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nibbler
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by nibbler » 13 Mar 2017, 07:02

I have my own definition for do-gooder but I decided to search one out. Here are a few I came across:
Larissa MacFarquhar wrote:We are selfish, we are lazy, we are conventional, we like our stuff, and we don’t like to hear of someone who makes us feel bad about the way we live our lives. [Do-gooders] make us feel guilty, even if they don’t say anything to us.
In other words the negative meaning comes from the guilt we feel when comparing our actions with the actions of people we believe are doing good.
Maeve Maddox wrote:We need a word that describes a person who acts according to his own idea of what doing good is without considering the consequences that might affect the recipients of the supposed good.
I feel this is the more traditional definition. A person that imposes what they feel is good on someone else, especially in cases where an action isn't universally perceived as being good.

I like Minyan Man's story. He offered help but didn't press the person.

How can we do good?

I don't know. Won't there always be a critic? Won't we always second guess what we do? I'd say try not to over think things. Does the debate that rages inside our head spend more energy than the action would have?

I visit a quiet place every week where this is written on the wall:
Hsing Yun wrote:Give confidence to others,
Give hope to others,
Give joy to others,
Make things convenient for others.
The focus is others, not self. I believe there are similar themes in the hymn Have I Done Any Good?
mom3 wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 20:57
For myself I have reconciled my doing good to "I am doing the best I can." Anymore than that and I wipe out.
I believe this is very important.
Of course I don’t want to get knocked down. But the single and sole solution to that fear is to not go anywhere where I can be knocked down. And is that not already being knocked down?
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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SamBee
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: How can we do good?

Post by SamBee » 13 Mar 2017, 18:24

mom3 wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 20:57
For myself I have reconciled my doing good to "I am doing the best I can." Anymore than that and I wipe out.

The balance on this is impossible.
I can't speak for you or even judge you on that, because I only know you from this forum, but I hope that is true. I'm sure you do do some good.

In terms of balance, I regret some of my interactions with other people, but can I at least do more good than bad? I hope so. I don't feel I do enough though. It is not even a case of point scoring - I feel not enough people strive towards goodness.

It is easy sometimes, but hard at other times when people don't seem to appreciate it or you feel forced into bad situations.

Anyway - thanks for the other comments, I will revisit them probably. I hope we can get something constructive out of this thread. It is such a basic philosophical question but a necessary one.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mom3
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by mom3 » 13 Mar 2017, 20:02

About a year ago I started doing something that really helped me. I began keeping an accomplishments journal/notebook. Every day before I go to bed I list all the accomplishments I can remember. Just a list. If I feel a need for more, I add a few words. Sometimes I categorize them. Mostly just brain download, but it's interesting it helped me tip some of the scales of my "I am not doing enough or being enough." Even mundane things like, "made dinner" is doing something. And if you think about it, dinner is a huge good in multiple ways. It nourishes us (and self care is not selfish, it's responsible), if you are eating with others, you have provided a gift of expression and care. Dinner's make room for conversation and connected-ness with people. It builds bonds.

Now when I see dinner on my list - I see it as all those other things. Every one of them good.

Try a list for a week and see what happens.


*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Good Part 2-

I know there is great debate about the authenticity of the creation story, but one part I love in it, is God looking over his creation and calling all things good. Not perfect, flawless, always happy - but good. Think of it. If he truly created this world and all it's pieces, he knew there would be floods, fires, earthquakes, sandstorms, volcanoes, ice storm, lightening etc. He knew animals, plants, people would die because of it. Yet it was all good.

Therefore what ever good we do counts and counts deeply. Think of Apostle Paul. The guy was a murderer. A premeditated one at that. A bounty hunter. Then he has a change of heart. No matter how much he does the rest of his life, he can not bring back any life he took, any fear he created, any damage he did. Yet he gave the same measure of soul to making life better, to healing, to uplifting, to encouraging.

Neither you or I have the same weight that Saul carried. Just do the best you can. Smile, say Hi, hold a door open, think loving kindness thoughts. You do much good here. Hug yourself tonight, look online and listen to a buddhist loving kindness meditation, let it float around you. You are good. God called you such before time began.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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On Own Now
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by On Own Now » 14 Mar 2017, 21:30

I think that we have a tendency to think of "doing good" as an active pursuit. Stopping to help someone with a flat tire, taking a meal to someone who is sick, donating to charity, working at a soup kitchen. It doesn't necessarily have to be so. Of course, if we can actively do good, that's awesome, but what about just "being kind", asking people about themselves, not being confrontational in situations that could justify it?

If you watch the news, you quickly get a picture that the world is full of crazy SOBs. I think part of "doing good" is just trying to make the world a better place, and whether anyone is the direct recipient of that or not, we are all indirect recipients.

Recently, I was in a restaurant. There was a young family there with a young child... probably a little over one. She was behaving pretty well for a kid of that age, but she was active. She wasn't doing anything wrong, but did I mention her age? Right next to her was a man of about 50-ish. He could have ignored the child. He could have looked over in disgust. He could have asked to be seated elsewhere or asked the parents to contain the child. Instead, he made a fuss over her. He talked about what a beautiful and fun child she was. "She reminds me of my granddaughter." He talked to her and to her parents and enjoyed a good meal. As he left, he made sure to say good-bye and got her to wave back at him and she watched intently as he walked away. He wasn't actively "doing good" but he was a good person. And being a good person made the world a little better place.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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LookingHard
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Re: How can we do good?

Post by LookingHard » 15 Mar 2017, 05:04

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