A Year Of Good Deeds

February 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

My friend Claire Pascal started a blog called A Year Of Good Deeds.

Claire is a very special woman.  She’s a writer and a teacher.

When 9/11 happened it touched her so profoundly she went to Yale to study theology. She needed a different kind of knowledge to understand or at least to cope better with devastation.

My friend Claire looks at life and people with profound respect and understanding.  She’s kind to others as well and to herself.  She’s fallen many times without ever losing her heart.  And for that she has my admiration. It is not easy to fall, truly see oneself down, get up and still be opened to the world.

As Claire writes about herself she lets us in her humanity and we are all better off for that.

Below is Claire’s statement about the birth of her blog.


So my life fell apart. I couldn’t deny my alcoholism anymore, a dear friend died, and then my marriage tore apart–wrenching and painful. To recover from the wreck I’ve become, I’m conducting an experiment: I will do one good deed a day. I’m hoping this helps me peek out from my miserable self-absorption and perhaps do a tiny bit of good for the world. Will this make me or anyone else happier?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I just got back from an AA meeting and I stand corrected about the saying: “Give 100% expecting nothing back.”  Here’s the more accurate version:  “Give 100% because it’s free and fun expecting nothing back not even a thank you.”  A tougher version.  Now I have to have fun while I’m giving without expecting a reward.

Good deeds today:  Flowers for my AA sponsor.  A thank you note to the woman guard at the entrance of my condo complex.  She’s the only female guard and she always waves and smiles at me when I come home late at night from work, which is often…Continued


Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

October 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I don’t have a clue.  Seriously, I don’t have the faintest.  To me life contains as much randomness as purpose.  Shit happens as they say, and anyone that says that you can control what happens in your life by only having positive thoughts is lying.  The bottom line is that there are too many people, too many things going on for us to have complete control over our lives.  I don’t care how many affirmations you say every day or how kind you are, that shit will still happen.  Someone you know will die, lose a job, have a fight, get sick etc.

Early this morning I got a call from my eighty five year old neighbor who lives alone.  She had fallen on the street and wondered if I could take her to the emergency care.  “Of course” I replied.  So I made a cup of coffee while I got dressed and then left the house.

After two hours at the emergency care, my neighbor was going to be taken to X-ray, so I told her I was going to drive home and leave a key under my mat for my brother in law who was coming to visit.

And so I did that.  Ran home, pet my dog, had another cup of coffee, left a key under the mat and got back in my car to drive back to Keiser when boom,  a car rams into me.  This girl, because she was in residential Silver Lake didn’t think she needed to put all her attention into her driving and was actually putting on her make up while driving. Basically she ran the stop sign.

My first thought was “why me?”.  I’m already spending my Saturday morning at a hospital and my week didn’t fair much better, so why do I get hit while doing a good deed?  For no simple reason or better yet for no reason at all and that’s the point.  Things in life will sometimes come out of nowhere without discrimination of gender, social status, age or our score in the goodness scale.

I may right about now be sounding really doom and gloom so here is the good news: “YOU CAN CHOOSE HOW TO PROCESS ALL OF IT”.  I wrote in caps because it’s a big concept.  We can choose how much we are going to let things that we have no control over poison us with anger, frustration and irritation.  I’m not suggesting we should all become enlightened people and not be bothered by anything – although that would be certainly an achievement – but I’m suggesting we can temper our reactions.

Let’s think about my car:  the dent is already there and no amount of anger towards the girl who now was even more late now to get to work than before, would change that. Taking out my frustration on her had the potential of escalating things.  So I took a minute to myself and breathed deeply a few times before addressing this girl in a firm way. I got her information, waited for the police to come and then went home.

Once home, I turned the music on and did some stretches on the floor to get rid of the tension building up in my body.  I again thought about what would be the worst thing that could happen in this whole accident situation. The answer was me having to cough up the deductible to have my car fixed, and while no fun, it was not worth ruining my day over.

And then I thought of my neighbor who had said to the nurse that she was a lucky person because her neighbor, meaning me, had the time and the care to bring her to the hospital instead of saying how bad her life is without a family, that she has to depend on a neighbor to take care of her.

So while I accept that there is plenty of randomness in this world I know for a fact that how we deal with everything is completely up to each one of us and in that there is no randomness.