See a need, Fill a need…

November 29, 2014

“See a need, fill a need.” – Story headline from a recent Realtor magazine. Every year Realtor Magazine runs a special contest and story about the Realtor who has contributed the most to their community. They call their chosen Realtor the Good Neighbor of the year. This year’s winner is Jane Locke of South Carolina who saw a need for financial help for families with children with disabilities and diseases that wasn’t being filled by existing charities; so she and a group of like-minded people in her area started Carolina Children’s Charity to fill that need. Find out more about that charity at

caringWe often have the tendency to think that we can’t make a difference through just our own small local efforts; but such is not the case. It is also not the case that every effort has to be a large one in and of itself. Lots and lots of little efforts eventually accumulate and make a difference. Even a small, seemingly insignificant effort may make the difference in someone else’s life. If they go on to also make a difference by doing something the whole thing can snowball into a huge difference.

I think a key to filling a need that you may see is to be happy within yourself that you did the deed or filled the need and not to be disappointed if no one else noticed or praised you for having done it. Sometimes you will get a “thank you” if you do something for someone else that they see; however, many times the good works that you do are not such that they would be recognized by giving moneywhomever you helped. You must also feel good about your contribution, no matter how small when compared to others; so long as your effort was sincere and honest. That is especially true if you are just doing things to raise money for a worthy cause. So what, if you managed to give or collect $20 and someone else gave $200 or even $2,000? If your $20 represented your honest effort to help and was given without expectations of any reward, it is as important as the larger amounts.

Much of the time the needs that you might see are not about money; rather they are about the need for services – drivers to deliver Meals on Wheels, for instance; or people to visit shut-ins. volunteer builderSometimes the need s are well behind the scenes and out of the spotlight, such as packing the meals that will be delivered or putting together gift boxes to be sent overseas to our troops. Sometimes it involves joining a groups to accomplish a big task, like building a house for someone in need. Sometimes the needs are very personal – providing someone to listen and talk with for a person who has gone through a loss or who may be suffering through an illness. Maybe it’s just being there in programs such as Big Brother or Big Sister to provide role models and companionship.

We actually “see” needs around us all the time; it’s just that we‘re too busy to stop and help, to fill the need; or we think we are too busy.  All too often the things that we are “busy with” are superficial or contrived and have little actual meaning or consequence. We have created the illusion of being busy out of things like checking our email or texting or playing a game on our helping elderly
phones. Our distractions and amusements have morphed into our “busy.” In the meantime, the needs are still there unfulfilled; we just don’t have the time to look for them or see them because we are “busy.” Take the time out of your busy lifestyle to look around and recognize the needs that are all around you. Fill just a few of those needs and you will feel so much better about yourself and about life. You may even find that you didn’t miss checking your phone or texting while you were actually helping get something meaningful accomplished.

So, today, resolve to See a need, Fill a need.  You likely won’t be in the headlines in tomorrow’s paper, but you will feel really great about yourself as you drift off to sleep tonight. If the need you filled happened to involve direct contact and help for another person that will make two happy people at the end of the day. Have a great and meaningful weekend.

Make some good this week…

September 29, 2014

Today’s Jack’s Winning Words starts us  all off this week with this little quote – “We are all manufacturers.  Some make good; others make trouble; and still others make excuses.”  (A.A. Stagg)  Jack went on to explain  who Stagg was – Stagg was one of great football coaches of all time.  The Univ of Chicago fired him as their coach thinking that he was too old at age 70.  He kept coaching at other places and retired when he was 96.

As we head into a new work week think about what you will be manufacturing this week. Will it be good or bad or maybe just excuses why your really didn’t make anything? It’s really about how you spend your time, the decisions that you make and your own predisposition towards the positive or negative. If you are a trouble maker you will likely end most weeks alone – not a good place to be. If you are prone to procrastination, you will end the week with a bad case of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s”. Don’t go there, either.

To get off on a more positive foot, you can start by going beyond the somewhat tentative childhood role model of the female workerLittle Engine that Could. Don’t start out your week saying to yourself, “I think I can, I think I can.” Instead start out on a more positive note by repeating to yourself , “I know I can, I know I can.” Instead of reaching the end of the week in disappointed reflection about what might have been, you’ll be saying – “I did it.”

So, what will you manufacture this week? Make some good happen in your life and in the lives of others. Maybe a new friendship or relationship is out there waiting for you. I know you can do it. No excuses.


Do good; feel good…

August 13, 2014

“When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That’s my religion.”  (A. Lincoln), from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I think you could do a lot worse than have as your religion what Abe Lincoln was talking about. At least his littleLincoln statement seems to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong and the ability to discern which is which in his daily life. Much has been written about all of the good that Lincoln did, but there was probably a little bad in his life, too; as is the case with all of us.

How about you? Do you feel good when you’ve done something good, even if there is no one to acknowledge the act or heap praise upon you? Just as important; do you feel bad when you know you’ve done something bad? In a newspaper article today, about a trial just concluded for a man who killed a small child, the judge exceeded the sentencing guidelines and sent the man to prison for a longer time because she said that he showed no remorse for his actions. When you’ve done bad, do you feel and show remorse?

rewardSome people have a hard time accepting praise for the good that they do. For them, their actions just reflect that they did what needed to be done, not something extraordinary. They avoid the fuss and praise of those seeking to thank them, almost in embarrassment. These are people for whom just the self-satisfaction of having done something good is enough reward. Others may require a little pat of encouragement and reward on the back in order to reinforce their feelings of satisfaction. Are you content with your own feelings of accomplishment when you’ve done good?

Many of those who are more prone to doing bad seem to have developed the ability to blame their misdeeds on others or on circumstance. Do the looters in St. Louis really believe that they deserved what they stole becauseremorseful of the earlier incident with the police or because of some long-standing set of circumstances that they felt held
them down? I doubt it. They just saw an opportunity to steal under the cover of a civil protest and they took that opportunity. Do they feel bad about it? I doubt that, too. They have no religion. When you do something bad, don’t try to find a way to blame others or your circumstances, just acknowledge that you made a mistake, accept responsibility and the consequences and move on in life. If you are fortunate there will be a way available to you to make things right

So, take Lincoln’s words to heart in your daily life. When you do good; feel good about it. When you do bad, acknowledge it, feel bad about it and then try to make things right or at least to avoid doing the same bad again. I suspect, if you even took time to think about the choices in front of you, that doing the right thing (the good thing) is an easy call. It’s also a time saver. You don’t have to waste your time feeling bad, being remorseful and trying to make things right again, if you do the right thing in the first place.

Have a great day and do the right things!