One Good Deed

Laura - Fresno, California
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Many times when I was younger, I can remember my mom rushing over to pick something up off the ground for someone or to open a door for an older woman who was pushing a shopping cart. Afterwards, she would look at me and say, “I did my good deed for the day.” I never really understood why she did it or how something like opening up a door could be considered a “good deed,” until I was older and began to realize how such a simple act like those my mom did could improve a bad day, or just put a smile on someone’s face. Watching my mom complete her “good deed for the day,” I have come to strongly believe in the small acts.

In my case, it took something drastic for me to understand how one good deed could affect other people. It was not simply watching my mother’s small acts of kindness, but instead receiving a more life-altering piece of information. Five years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The world had stopped spinning when she told me, and even though she is now in remission, I cannot imagine what my life would be like if she had not won her battle. Instead of looking back on this time in sadness, however, I remember the importance of what my mom taught me during her fight.

The lesson my mom taught me that year proved to be a belief I continue to live by today and will as long as I am able. She had taught this lesson to me day in and day out but I had not yet come to realize it. However, as I watched her continue to do the good deed for the day while she fought cancer, I learned that no matter how bad my life may be, it is still possible to make someone else’s life a little better by helping out with a small act of kindness. During my mom’s fight, even though my only concern was for her

health and not for the happiness of others, she never stopped doing her daily ritual. She had every right to curl up into a ball and seclude herself from the world, but instead she chose to make the best out of each day and continue to help others by doing her good deed.

Even today, as I go home for the holidays and am out shopping or running errands with my mom, we still get in our good deed. It is one of my favorite things to do and share with the person who has given me so much. No matter how weak, sad, underprivileged, or sick you may be, there is always an opportunity to make someone else’s day just a little bit better. I never know how my good deed will affect a chain of events. That one single act of kindness could lead to a long string of good deeds, or it may just stop at the person that I helped. Even though I do not know if letting someone cut in front of me at the grocery store or opening the door for a stranger will resonate to other people in the world, I still believe in doing at least one good deed every single day. These simple acts of kindness may not make someone else’s day, but afterwards I always feel a sense of accomplishment that helps me appreciate the belief I have come to hold so strongly.