This article was originally posted in 2012. Somehow it got lost. I reposted it here to share it with the readers.
When a news reporter asked a successful businessman what was the most important teaching that his father gave him, he replied, “Do one good deed a day.”
One day when my son came to see me, I started to tell him about the story of this businessman and how he should do the same. He then told me he helped a woman in need a few days ago. He had seen her crying as she paced back and forth in front of her apartment building. My son stopped the car and asked her whether she needed help. She said that her son was in the emergency ward at the UCLA Medical Center due to a car accident, and she was waiting for a taxi to come and pick her up, but there was no sign of the cab. She could not bear to delay being at her son’s side one more minute. So my son gave her a ride to UCLA.
Sometimes a small deed you do for others may be remembered forever by them. I still remember someone stopped to help my family after our car broke down in the middle of the night several years ago as we were passing through Texas. It was late, dark and very scary along that Texas highway. So when this stranger stopped and took us to the repair shop in the middle of the night, we were full of appreciation. We wanted to pay him for his kindness, but he declined and told us one thing we would never forget: just do for others what I’ve done for you.
I also remember well the good deed of my friend’s son. He brought a homeless person to the supermarket on his birthday to let the person pick out whatever he needed and then paid for the items. What a touching act. In fact, this was a birthday present he was giving himself!
In my line of work – marketing for my home health business — I give the doctors I work with my business card which some of them keep with them to remind them of the Chinese proverb written on the back:
If you want happiness for an hour–take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day–go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month–get married.
If you want happiness for a year-inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime-help someone else.
Indeed, when you do one good deed for others, you brighten someone’s day and yours, too.