Everyday we should not just aim to do good. We must focus on doing better than good.
With each action you make, consider looking beyond the initial act. Think to yourself: how can the blessings I am putting forth go even further? How can I do this better?
In order to be better than good, your actions must come from a pure, loving place. When you give, you give of your heart and wish good blessings upon each person this effects. Don’t just give because it is the right thing to do. Give with love and good intentions that go beyond the initial act.
A Case Study in How to be Better than Good
In 1927, an American tourist named Amy Bend Bishop visited Morocco. While she was there, she was horrified by the suffering of the animals. After her trip, she returned to Boston, worked with animal rights activists and established a veterinary clinic in Fes.
What makes this clinic so unique is that working animals receive free medical care there. For many Moroccans, animals are a means of survival, whether it be for business, farming or transportation. They are a vital resource. The people live in extreme poverty and cannot afford veterinary bills if their donkey, horse or camel becomes sick or injured.
For those who can afford pets, they have to pay for the services at the clinic. Their reasoning is if you can afford to own a pet, buy it food, etc., then you can afford to pay for its care.
When Moroccans tell the story of what this woman did for them, they speak very highly of her. It is because they are so grateful for this clinic that they speak praises of her long after she died. This clinic has been around for almost 90 years. She did better than good for the people of Morocco. By helping the working animals, she helped everyone there.
This act of love and kindness towards animals went so much further than just helping the animals. She helped the entire city of Fes, Morocco and still to this day continues to help them long after her death. Animal rights groups in America keep this clinic running.
When we set out to help, we must first think wisely. Our heart strings are pulled to help, but we must decide how to best benefit each being we help.
Poverty in America
Poverty in America is very high with 40 million Americans living in poverty and nearly half in extreme poverty (Washington Post). Homelessness continues to rise, especially near urban centers as welfare programs and public housing funding decreases. Scurvy is well known to exist among the poor due to malnutrition and poor diets.
Instead of giving just money, a hot cup of coffee, toiletries or a meal, carry some oranges with you when you give to the homeless. It helps protect them from not only scurvy, but from getting sick.
For years, I used to give an orange to a homeless man I saw outside of Port Authority every day. The way his face would just light up to see this piece of fruit magically appear in his hand, it made me smile every single time. Now, he’s gone.
These days, when I give out apples or oranges, I have an opportunity to stop and talk to the homeless men on the street. I always tell them to make sure they eat it so they will not get sick. The way they look at me when they thank me, it is with a sparked look of hope that they are not invisible and that someone out there cares enough about them and their well being…that they are still human.
Volunteering my time at the NY Food Bank has taught me about food, hunger and poverty. At food pantries in the Bronx, I hand out food and see how little is available for the poor to survive upon each month. I see involuntary hunger everywhere I go. That is why I always pack a little something extra in case I see someone that is hungry.
Poverty and hunger are the two things that pull at my heart strings every single day. Perhaps it is because I understand what it feels like to be hungry and not be able to afford food. I was like that once when I worked for the government. You do your time with the government and live in poverty so you can get carte blanche in the private sector (and command a large salary) one day.
I walked to work at 6AM, just to get there by 8:30AM. I only had $70 to buy food for the month. And they expected me to pay for my insurance out of that measly pay.
The poor are not necessarily lazy. There are some homeless people working three jobs, and living in shelters with their families. There are legal immigrants living in the slums that work all day in a factory, go to school, deliver food all night, and then go home to sleep 3 hours in a room filled with 10 other families where the bathroom is across the street at 7-11.
We live in a country with great abundance, but instead of helping each other, people take advantage of others in order to profit. This is a selfish country where we put blinders on and refuse to see the truth. There are 40 million people in our country that are living in poverty. 20 million of them can’t afford to eat. That is one child, one parent, one human too many.
Give Because the Universe Gives to You
I learned a long time ago that in order to be wealthy in life, you must share your wealth with universe. The universe shares its wealth with you, so in turn, you must share your wealth with the universe and those in it.
Wealth comes in the form of money, but also knowledge, love, happiness, joy, luck, etc. These are all things we must share with each other in order to truly sparkle in God’s eyes. We need to focus on giving back what is given to us. Everything that is given to us is a tool. We are judged upon how we use these tools to better the world around us.
When you give, think beyond your initial act. How can your act of kindness stretch further? If you think in the karmic sense of what you put out comes right back to you, ask yourself if this act can go 3 to 8 times further. Or in the case of Fes, Morocco, can your act of kindness go on long after your death?
We should strive to commit to acts of kindness like the one Amy Bishop displayed all those years ago. Not only is she continuing to help animals and people long after her death, but she continues to receive blessings from many people every single day. She wasn’t rich or famous. She just felt the call to help and got the assistance she needed from like minded souls to create a blessing that would last for a very long time.
That is how you can be better than good and be the sparkle in God’s eyes. Choose to be better than good every single day. It benefits the world.