Good People Doing Good Things — ‘Round the World

They are out there, folks.  Good people exist.  They see a need, they do whatever is in their power to help meet that need.  And they exist everywhere, as you will see in a minute.  Somedays it is easy to believe that we are nothing but a cruel and evil society whose only concerns are wealth and greed.  In truth, there is a lot of that all over the world … I don’t even try to deny it.  But, at least once in a while it is requisite for our emotional and physical well-being to step back from the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world and look for the flowers growing among the thistles.  flowers-among-thistlesThey are there … you just have to look for them, for they are often overshadowed by the thistles.  That is why, no matter how embedded I am in the political fray, no matter what else is happening in the world, I try very hard to make sure I focus on those good people at least once a week.


I’d like to introduce you to a young man named Vaughn, and his friend Tony.  Vaughn is ten-years-old and was not feeling well one day last November when his mother, Mandy, needed to stop for fuel at a local gas station in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  I don’t know what the station attendant, Tony, said to young Vaughn, but within minutes he had him laughing and talking. z2zjh-boy-buys-gas-station-worker-bike-1

According to Vaughn’s mother’s Facebook page

“Since then we regularly visit the station and Vaughn eagerly looks out for his new friend. Tony always takes the time to talk to Vaughn about the various bikes we haul to Giba and back and listens so obligingly to him as he chatters away.

So when Tony asked us to looks out for a reasonably priced bike for him Vaughn promised to find him one.

Vaughn has been collecting all the silver money around the house for months, saving for a “holiday” for us. One night he came to me and asked if I really wanted a holiday and upon asking why he said he would rather put his savings towards helping Tony get his bike. ❤️

And so today, we cracked open the piggy bank and took all the silvers to Game where he bought his friend a bicycle.

Our children make us proud on so many occasions but today my heart and his is so full of the joy at the kind man’s face as he, rather stunned accepted his gift from this 10year old boy.”

Ten years old and he’s already learned the value of giving, of caring, of friendship.


There is a community of Sikhs living in San Antonio, Texas, that offered free meals to all government workers during the recent shutdown.  As part of the Sikh religion, one of their duties is to look after and protect the downtrodden.sikh center san antonio

“We are here to support those federal employees who are not getting their paycheck, and we really appreciate their services… and we believe our nation should appreciate and give gratitude to those men and women who are doing wonderful service for us, but are not getting paid so. They come early in the morning, four o’clock, sometimes five o’clock to start preparing.” — Balwinder Dhillon, President of the Sikh Center of San Antonio.

And while no one in their community is directly affected by the shutdown …

plates of food “We don’t worry about one community. We all belong to one race, which is the human race. We think we are all brothers and sisters and we need to support each other no matter who we are. We may have different color, different class or religion, or social and economic status, but at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters.”

“We all belong to one race, which is the human race.” Spot ON!!!


Pat-Smith-1.jpgMeet Pat Smith.  Pat runs a bed and breakfast in St Austell, Cornwall, UK, but that is not why she is being featured here today.  For her 2018 New Year’s resolution, Pat vowed to clean up one beach each week from Coverack, Cornwall, to Blackpool Sands, Devon.  And she has done just that.

“Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my New Year’s Resolution and it’s finally done. I won’t stop as our beaches need me.”

pat-smith-2Check out this article with pictures of some of the litter Pat has picked up, as well as a listing of all 52 beaches she has cleaned in the past year.    But Pat’s good stewardship doesn’t end there!beach trashIn the summer of 2017, Pat launched an environmental group, The Final Straw Cornwall.

“I founded the Final Straw to try and raise awareness of the catastrophic damage we are doing to our oceans from our casual consumption of single use plastics. I feel I have a responsibility to my children and grandchildren to do something about it.”

plastic-stats

This organization really deserves a post of its own, but by the time I came across it last night, I already had the two previous good people, and I didn’t want to slight them.  But do take a look at the Final Straw website (link above) and see some of the really wonderful things they are doing to reduce plastic waste in our environment.  Every country needs a branch of Final Straw.  Come to think of it, every country needs a Pat Smith!


That’s all I have time for today, but be sure to drop in again next Wednesday, for there are many, many more good people out there.  Oh, by the way, remember Liam Hannon and his dad, Scott, that I wrote about last week?  I received a Facebook message from Scott Hannon a few days ago … he had seen the piece and wrote to thank me for highlighting his son!  I’m always happy when I hear from one of the good people I write about!

25 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — ‘Round the World

  1. Out here in Asia, the rubbish tossed everywhere is overwhelming. There is some new awareness to cleaning up, but it is a long way from getting there.
    Interestingly, after I dug out lots of plastic floating in surf or buried in the beach, I went around the bay to sit on a large rock. I watched as a plastic bag (blown off a speed boat) floated past. I couldn’t reach it, not even with a stick. The rocks were too dangerous to get into the water so I resolved to watch where it floated and retrieve it if it made it to the beach. As it rolled around in the surf, kids ignored it. So did their parents. A lot of people walked past and also ignored it. The beach is a haven for gay couples too, and eventually one of them came along and thy picked up the bag and took it to a beach waste bin. Litter is all about education and caring. Pick it up (even if it is only a few individual items of the hundreds of pieces you see). I made a show of some of the plastic that I picked up… I deposited some where people have to clean up for tourists to walk through (sending the message not to ignore the stuff just off the path) and also handed some to a National Park Official who was idling his time on a chair waiting to charge tourists the park fee. He looked surprised, but couldn’t very well say no, since it was a National Park Video playing at the office, telling people how the plastic is ruining the environment. Sorry for the rant… Bit of a pet peeve.

    I love the story of Tony… Hope he liked his Bike. 😊

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  2. As you say, we need to step back from time to time to recall that there are good people doing good things. I am also finding out that our complaints, genuine and sincere though they are, pale in contrast with the horrors the Russian people faced during much of the twentieth century. Historical perspective helps — as do your reminders. There are good people doing good things and things could be a hellova lot worse than they are!!

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    • Y’know … I think that is, perhaps, the best thing … to put it into perspective. I will always remember one time when I took my handicapped son for an appointment at a clinic, and I was feeling rather sorry for myself, having to get up early, fight to get him and his wheelchair into the car, they drive 5 hours to the clinic. But as we sat in the waiting room, a child literally flew by on a body board … that child had no legs, and only stubs for arms, but he was flying down the hallway, propelling himself by only his shortened arms, and laughing with joy! While I sat on my pity pot. I have always tried to remember that ‘light bulb’ moment whenever I start feeling sorry for myself. Yes, things can always be worse, and if we look around, we can always find someone much less fortunate than us.

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      • The university where I did time for 37 years was designed for the “handicapped” student and we had many over the years. They were decidedly NOT handicapped and made me feel foolish when I was wallowing in self-pity. Those folks are brave and set the bar very high for the rest of us! We do need to keep our balance and our perspective!

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  3. It’s wonderful to know there are people out there that care for others and for the land.I’m always delighted when I see kindness inspired by giving parents such as Vaughn has. It’s encouraged Vaughn to be the generous person he will remain.No doubt many more will benefit from that kindness.
    Cwtch

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  4. Thank you, yet again, Jill, for bringing us the good people of the world. My own project to clean up the forest around the town dump of all the plastics that have blown out of the dump has sadly failed, I hate to report. I got in a couple of days, but there is so much undergrowth that I cannot even get a few feet deep into the trees. I need one of those Finnish brooms Trump bragged about to make the forest penetrable. So Gail and I just continue to haul our recyclables 300 kilometres to the nearest recycling centre once we get enough to fill up the Honda for the trip. At least we try.
    Keep up the good work!

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    • How sad! There is a park just behind our apartment complex, with a walking track that is .8 mile. That’s where I walk when the weather permits … 5 laps = 4 miles, which is just about doable for me. But some days there is so much trash, despite the fact that there are no less than four trash bins along the .8 mile stretch. I have taken 30-gallon trash bags over to pick up the trash and was sickened over it all. Socks, even found a pair of girl’s underwear one time that made me really wonder how that came to be. Soda cans, disposable diapers, food wrappers, beer bottles. I have to wonder what the homes of the people who toss this trash look like! You and Gail are doing a whole lot more than most people. I need to take a hard look at my own habits and make some improvements.

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      • I hope the panties were not torn. But, yes, some people can be pigs, and don’t care who knows it. l know “they” say every bit counts, but sometimes it does not look like it. Our town dump is so full of recyclables that the amount we generate would not make it look any worse if we didn’t recycle, but that isn’t the point, is it.

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        • I know … sometimes it seems that our contributions are so small compared to the total problem. But, as a former boss used to say to me, “peanuts make elephants”. And it is true. I never realized until recently how much plastic we throw away! Water bottles, grocery bags, packaging, empty cleaning bottles, juice bottles. And if we throw that much away, and if you multiply that amount times the number of families in the world … 😱

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          • How big will Plastic Island be in 20 years, even if we stopped using plastics completely today? And we aren’t about to, just like we are not about to stop using fossil energy today, even though scientists give us 12 years to live. The economy must go on, there are 100 billion dollars still to be earned out there. And Trump wants most of them, even though he can never spend them. Where is the sense in that?

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