Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Going to commit myself to good turns in new year

I had lunch last month with a fairly large group of family members and friends at a not-inexpensive restaurant in Santa Fe.

Collectively, we represented seven or eight households, and most of us had gathered with the idea of picking up our own checks.

When we got ready to gather up and leave, however, we learned that one of our group had furtively managed to collect the tab and treat us all.

When confronted, our generous benefactor brushed it off, saying, “I try to do a good deed every day.”

We argued that this was more than a good deed. (Because, trust me, it was.)

He countered that not all of his good deeds were that extravagant, but he has made it a point for a good chunk of his life to be deliberate about doing at least one good thing each day.

That, of course, got me to thinking, as well as reminding me of the well-known Boy Scout motto: “Do a Good Turn daily.”

I don’t know if my lunch sponsor was ever a Boy Scout, but fortunately good deeds aren’t limited to those who have taken the Boy Scout oath.

As we close out the first week of this New Year, I like the idea of making a commitment to do a good deed (or “good turn,” as it were) each day.

The Boy Scout handbook offers some guidance on this that can apply to any of us.

“Some Good Turns are big,” the handbook says, “saving a life, helping out after floods or other disasters, recycling community trash, working with your patrol on conservation projects.”

But, the handbook goes on, “Good Turns are often small, thoughtful acts -- helping a child cross a busy street, going to the store for an elderly neighbor, cutting back brush that is blocking a sign, doing something special for a brother or sister, welcoming a new student to your school.

“A Good Turn is more than simple good manners,” the handbook concludes. “It is a special act of kindness.”

I’m going to make myself a list and try to be mindfully accountable on this for 2024.

I don’t live near a busy street (thank goodness), but I can definitely make a phone call, send a card, pick up a piece of trash, pass on a kind word, or any of a thousand other small things.

Our ol’ world needs all of that it can get.

And it doesn’t have to cost a penny.

Betty Williamson would love to hear your best good deed ideas. Reach her at:

[email protected]

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