A week or so ago I attended a fundraising event for Firefly Foundation, a charitable organization that funds research and develops programs with a mission to prolong brain health.
It was started by a friend and former colleague, after she lost both of her parents to brain related diseases. Another friend of mine, who lost her mother to alzheimer’s, is the Foundation Manager.
The “idea” behind the event stems from something Diane Keaton said several years ago when she was in Toronto: “A memory is when your mind takes a photograph.” Both professional and amateur photographers were asked to donate a photograph, and share the memory the photo evoked, for a silent auction.
Obviously, working in advertising, I know a lot of photographers; and I offered to ask them if they’d be willing to participate. They all accepted, no questions asked, even though none of them knew either of my friends. It was simply an act of kindness and generosity, something they were willing to do for what they believed was a worthy cause. They just stepped up.
Another friend, and former colleague in New York also started a foundation several years ago. His, StopAbuse Campaign, is a result of his having been abused as a young boy, when he was at boarding school. Helping others is one of the ways he also helps himself heal.
None of these people are celebrities, star athletes, gazillionaires, famous in any way. They are ordinary folk, like you and me. Ordinary folk on a mission. To do something, anything, to ensure that the rest of us don’t go through what they went through, that we don’t suffer their same fate.
Stories like this reaffirm my hope in mankind. There are good people out there, but we don’t often hear about them. Their voices, and deeds, are drowned out by the bad news, by all the ugliness and nastiness we seem to be surrounded by these days. For some reason the media can’t get enough of it. Neither can we, apparently.
Why do we do that?
Shouldn’t we be celebrating all the truly kind and generous and selfless people who are trying so hard to make our world a better place?
Wouldn’t that send a much more compelling, positive and inspiring message to our children and grandchildren, friends and even foes, than most of what they see and read and hear now?
So I’m sending out this challenge to my fellow bloggers: At least once a month, how about we all devote a blog post to the do-gooders out there? Doesn’t matter where in the world they happen to be, or even whether or not you know them personally. What matters is what they’re doing and how that touches all of us.
Let’s see if we can make positive news spread as quickly as negative. Let’s see if we can make “good” go viral. That, in itself, would be a good deed.