April 3rd 2008 has been unofficially dubbed â€œgood people dayâ€ (more information here: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/2008/04/02/april-3rd-2008-is-good-people-day-pass-it-on/). I have to report some mixed emotions about this. I think Iâ€™m down to join the fray, for a variety of reasons, however some very legitimate concerns, I believe, have been given.
One was the simple fact that people should try to recognize good people everyday, not â€œlimit their effortsâ€, sort of the like the Christmas and Thanksgiving effects some people talk of. This is valid, in my mind.
Another was the fact that there is the potential for hurt feelings as people who are good get forgotten. Unspoken was the idea that some of these people might actually be negatively motivated to not be as good as they once were due to lack of recognition. This is valid, in my mind as well.
But here, I think , is what it boils down to for me. If people get in the habit of doing good things (which includes recognizing other people who are doing good things) then, I think, they are more likely to do them more often.
I do try to recognize the people who make a difference in my life regularly, and Iâ€™m not the least bit worried about that being commodified (by me) by the introduction of a day to celebrate that habit. Additionally, because of that effort, I am less worried about anyone I might miss on this â€œspecialâ€ day. I know, as do they, that I probably already have them covered and most likely will be telling them how much they mean to me again, and soon.
The following actually happened the other day, I was there when it was going down (the person involved does not want recognition, so I’m leaving his name out), but this is his story:
A person I know online… not a friend, just someone I know. They had the following day…
- Woke up late
- Discovered she had a medical condition
- Got crack in her windshield
- Got flat tire
- Then car got keyed
She mentioned (via twitter) that in addition to all of this, she had not eaten, and, of course, was busy changing a tire now so that was not happening soon.
So I found a sandwich shop a couple of blocks from where she was (behold the mighty power of Google Street View), ordered her a sandwich and had it delivered. Now… I have no idea what she likes to eat, so may have been a total waste, food wise… but at least she knows the whole world is not conspiring against her today! I didn’t tell her I sent it… and told them not to tell her, just to write on it
Might have been the best $12 I have spent in years
I (this is me again, in case it was not clear) subsequently found out that the sandwich never made it, the tire changing prowess of this particular woman was too great. I imagine someone at the sandwich shop got a free lunch, which the person who bought the sandwich was just fine with.
But the disposition of the sandwich is far from the point. This is a person doing a good thing and if other people knew of it, and emulated it… it could become common rather than a noteworthy event. This strikes me as a good thing.
So, tomorrow Iâ€™m going to write a few blogs about people I have bumped into that do good things. Some will be people I know well, some will be people I barely know at all. But they will all serve, for at least one day, as role models.
April 3rd, 2008 is good people day… count me in.