It cannot be denied that this little blog can, on occasion, be a place where I have a little rant or moan about one or more of the irritants I have noticed around me. Those irritants range from major (Michael Gove) to minor (excessive book promotion on twitter), but I have had a little moan about them all.
Today, however I’m adopting a different approach and taking a few minutes to concentrate on the positives and extol the virtue of us each doing a Good Thing. It’s easy to look at the world, see all the problems around us and conclude that it’s way way too big for any one lonesome soul to make a difference. It’s easy to feel a little bit defeated and conclude that when it comes to changing the world it’s easier all round not to try. Recently, however, two things have passed by my butterfly brain that have made me want to whoop and holler in praise of those of us who do try.
The second thing, which for reasons of narrative build, I shall tell you about first, was this tweet from Citizens Advice:
Around 100 people become volunteers with us each week! If you want to make it 101.. http://t.co/vKtJsUKY30
— Citizens Advice (@CitizensAdvice) August 21, 2013
100 people becoming volunteers every week with just one organisation. That’s incredible. Think for a second about how many people must give their time for free across the country, not just in Citizens Advice Bureaux, but in charity shops, schemes to help the elderly, play schemes, animal shelters, homelessness charities, youth groups and all the other random and diverse things people do to help their communities and to help people across the world. Jolly well done all of them, and if you are one of them, really jolly well done you.
The second thing that made me want to run across the internet and give the person involved a big ol’ high five, was this project from Rowan Coleman. Rowan has decided to donate all of the royalties from her next book, a novella titled Woman Walks Into A Bar to Refuge, a charity that works with victims of domestic abuse. According to her blog, she’s aiming to raise £10000.
In my non-writing life I have worked directly with people who were living with domestic abuse, or with the aftermath of past abuse, and I was struck, every single time, by how utterly normal those women, and occasionally men, were. Domestic abuse isn’t something that happens to people who are weaker, or less confident, or less able than us. It happens to people like us. I really hope that the good thing that Rowan is doing makes a difference to some of those people.
So, here’s my suggestion, lets all follow the example of those rather wonderful volunteers, and of Rowan Coleman, and agree that this week we shall do a Good Thing. One Good Thing, for example, would be to hop over to Amazon and pre-order Woman Walks Into A Bar. Another would be to do a spot of volunteering. It is, of course, entirely up to you. Personally I have already ordered Rowan Coleman’s novella, so my Good Thing will be to fill in the final paperwork to donate my brain to the good people at Parkinsons UK to help with research into Parkinsons disease. Obviously they only get my brain after I’ve died. I’ll be using it up until then, sometimes as much as two or three times a week. I’ve had the final forms on my desk for months. This week I shall actually finish filling them in and send them back. Easy. One Good Thing done.
It is, of course, possible that you are not really into doing Good Things and are working more of an Evil Genius lifestyle vibe. In which case, maybe you could still try a Good Thing just for variety. You never know. You might like it. Either way, lets be a little bit celebratory, shall we? So please, tell us about the Good Things you do, or are going to do forthwith.