Bored is not a word you could use to describe Benjamin Franklin.
He noticed what was going on in his world and made it better.
In fact he asked himself on a daily basis, what good shall I do today. And then ended his day by asking, what good did I do today.
A dirty street? Create a Sanitation Department.
A house on fire? Create a Fire Department.
People who are sick? He founded a Hospital, then moved on to the founding of a University for people needing an education, and just to make sure he started the first Library.
No he wasn’t bored because in between all this founding and creating he was also busy inventing.
The lightening rod? Benjamin.
The odometer? Benjamin.
Swim fins? Again Benjamin.
And I’m sure there were plenty who were grateful for the Franklin stove.
In between helping to create and run the Country he was Ambassador to France and by all accounts a big hit with the ladies.
He wrote poetry for them and they responded with many gifts, having fallen in love with his intelligence and bear skin hat!
There’s more, much more, but this I love…
His daily to do list.
He confessed he wasn’t one hundred percent successful in sticking to this schedule, but attempting to do so made him a better man.
I’m amazed he managed to keep to it at all, given everything else he was up to. But as I said, he was never bored.
Probably most of us aren’t in a position to create government departments, or foundations, or other such lofty ideals.
But we could answer the question. What good can I do today?
We could help build houses with Habitat for Humanity, though hopefully not up any ladders for me, I have this thing about heights!
We could pack food baskets for babies with Food Banks.
We could be a volunteer teacher with pre-schoolers.
We could volunteer at Hospice…which I’ve always found to be incredibly worthwhile.
The list goes on and on.
Practice loving kindness
Practice loving kindness in the simple things in life.
Smile at a stranger, or stem your impatience with others.
Take the time to greet family members with a hug and big hello when they, or you come through the door.
Cheer up someone who’s feeling sad or exhausted.
Simply be warm and compassionate to all you meet in your day.
Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
The effort it takes is minimal, but the reward for you and others is great. Remember small actions can make big differences in a life.
Be interested in others
Being interested in someone is often worth so much more in terms of encouragement than anything else you could do.
Give attention and appreciation to those who matter to you – the message is that they are important.
Practice listening more than speaking. The world is full of those on transmit so the art of listening becomes a genuine gift and definitely answers the question, what good shall I do today.
Final thoughts on what good have I done today
Even though unlike Benjamin Franklin you might have a sink full of dishes, or laundry or children to run around after, there’s always something good that you can do today.
And whether it’s something big or something small, we love them all and you have made your world a little better. And who knows, maybe you inspired or encouraged someone else to do the same.
That’s another thing that counts towards the good you have done this day.
What’s your answer to what good did I do today? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Or maybe this article has given you some encouragement towards doing some good tomorrow, so at day’s end it’s an easier question to answer.
Encourage one another.