What is a good deed?
Glad you asked! For the purposes of EthicalMuch, here’s how we define a good deed…
There’s two parts to the phrase. The first is ‘Good’ and the second is ‘Deed’. So what is good? Well that’s a huge question and it seems to vary depending on space, place, time, culture, society, and reason or intention. Is it good to break a car window? No. Is it good to break a car window because there’s a baby inside and it’s suffering in the heat? Yes. Very. Good can be complicated.
Let’s try using the phrase ‘life affirming’. What’s good for life is good for… everyone. Within the definition of life affirming there’s the impact, how it benefits, how it serves, how it makes the recipient or recipients feel. There’s also the wider social impact. Removing litter is life affirming for the community. And take it right back to the individual. What about life affirming actions for ones self? Can they be a good deed?
(To this we say Yes. Good deeds can be done for ones self. Or friends, family, strangers, communities, animals, plants, the Earth. Anything living. Charity begins at home, as they say. And radiates out from there.)
Let’s move onto the second part of the phrase. ‘Deeds’. So this requires an action, a doing of something.
Doing something, anything, that qualifies as life affirming is a good deed. In our book. And on our website.
Feel free to explore the boundaries of these definitions. Do a good deed for yourself and submit it. Do the smallest good deed you can think of. Do something, anything, life affirming. Forgive someone, maybe that’s a good deed, forgive yourself, maybe that’s another, take a half hour out of the World and be at peace. That’s a good deed? Write a poem. Draw a picture. Those actions could be a good deed, if intended as such.
What is a good deed? That’s part of what we’re creating together. The universal collective human definition of everything that could be good. How many thousands, millions, billions of different good deeds are there, waiting to be discovered? Let’s explore.
And each one earns money for charity. Good makes more good, as Life makes more life. This is some of what we have learned so far.