What's going on here?

I've made a commitment: to do one good deed per day. Large or small, it doesn't matter. Self-sacrificing or not, extraordinary or mundane, it doesn't matter. Just one thing every day, that's all.

The more I do good, the better I feel about myself. Truly, to benefit others is to benefit yourself. I hope this journal may inspire others who also yearn to do good. So join me on this journey, if you will, and think about the difference you can make in your own life.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Today's post completes one full year of good deeds. A year ago, when I got the idea for this blog, I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep it up. I wasn't sure I would come up with enough ideas. And in the last month or two, my Internet connection was so terrible that I couldn't record deeds on a daily basis and ended up with many very short and colorless posts. But despite all that, I completed the blog.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. It made me happier each day to know I'd done my part. My favorite deeds were serving food to the homeless at House of Charity, organizing the Genocide Prevention Ritual, and of course my signature deed: picking up trash.

So am I giving up daily deeds? No way. This blog is done, but the deeds go on.

Thank you to those who gave me support this year!

To browse this blog, search using the LABELS menu in the right-hand column below. Check out the "essays", "poetry", and "prayers" labels for special features on Martin Luther King Day, Darfur, the Iran controversy, Obama's inauguration, and more.

No bag please!

I've started requesting "no bag" whenever I get food to go from McDonalds. They also stuff it full of napkins that I don't use, and the bag itself is a waste of paper. Why not go easy on the environment?

ONE GOOD DEED: Get food without the bag, thus saving paper.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Apple Cider for R's Family's Thanksgiving

I got to go to the Thanksgiving of the family of my girlfriend R today. They are such an easygoing bunch! It was a nice change from the awkward tensions of my own family. I was deeply greatful that I could share the holiday with them.

ONE GOOD DEED: Bring apple cider for R's family.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Please check out this website for its value in choosing causes. They rank nonprofits based on opinions of networks of experts in appropriate nonprofit sectors.

ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for Philanthropedia.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Listening to R

My girlfriend R was going through an emotional rough patch tonight. She was frustrated with herself, and it was difficult for her to communicate what she felt. I just listened and offered the best responses I could. It made me sad to see her in pain. I wanted to just fix all her problems for her, but I also knew that wouldn't help. All I could do is support her in her own struggles.

ONE GOOD DEED: Listen to and be there for R in a tough time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Apple Cider for Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. You just get to see people and enjoy food without all the pressure of giving and getting gifts. This year, my girlfriend R came to my family's Thanksgiving. Grandma and everybody were very welcoming of her.

I brought one of my favorite recipes: apple cider made by wrapping ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange peel, etc.) in a cheese cloth and letting them infuse the juice with spicy goodness.

ONE GOOD DEED: Bring apple cider for everybody at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trash after the test

Today I took an interview test in Japanese to qualify to become a Japanese teacher eventually. I think (hope) I passed!

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash at the university after my test.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My last day at Wellstone

Today I finished the 100 hours of classroom time required to get into my teacher licensure program. Wellstone International, a high school for immigrant students, was a fantastic school at which to volunteer. I am going to miss seeing those kids each week.

While at Wellstone I got in good with the teachers, and now they are starting to give me substitute teaching assignments. I'll do my second assignment next week. And I get paid!

ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at Wellstone International.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nearing the final post of this blog (Oh, and I picked up more trash today!)

The last day of this month will make 365 days of good deeds recorded in this blog. November 30th will be the final post!

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Children's Hospital

At the checkout counter of my local CVS, the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate a dollar to the Children's Hospital. I was taken aback, and after a moment replied with a hearty yes.

ONE GOOD DEED: Donate to the Children's Hospital.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Friday, November 20, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And still more trash

Yeah, so sorry again about all those "trash" posts. My Internet connection at home sucks, and it's only when I get to a coffee shop that I can post with any reliability. Hence, I needed to be efficient in my posting. And besides, I couldn't remember what else I did those days. But I do pick up trash each day regardless of what else I may do, so at least it's honest.

Today too. Trash all the way.

ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

R's home sick-- cookies to the rescue!

My girlfriend R has come down with the flu. I started feeling early on that I should do something special to care for her. I remember a day in the past when I fell ill with a strange exhaustion--as soon as I got up, I would get completely exhausted and would have to lie down again--and the girl I was with stayed by my side all day. All day! I couldn't believe she did that, and I would never expect anyone to do it again. But she did it, and it made a lasting impression. So I wanted to do something special for R. I brought her medicine, soup, and TV shows to watch. And I baked her cookies.

ONE GOOD DEED: Bake R cookies while she's home with the flu.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Volunteer teaching at Anwatin, last day

I volunteered at Anwatin Middle School for the fourth and last time today. Each day was a new shocker--I really had never seen such hellions. But at least they were consistent.

On the other hand, the few advanced students I worked with in the Japanese class were outstanding. They wanted to learn, and brought enthusiasm and humor to the table. They even made me a goodbye card, which I was not expecting at all. I never thought I'd miss Anwatin, but I'm going to miss those Japanese students at least.

ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at Anwatin Middle School.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Class presentation with... that guy

We're doing presentations in pairs in the Japanese class I'm taking at the university. The day pairs were assigned, guess who didn't come to class-- that guy who never comes to class. And when he does come, he isn't prepared, and when the teacher asks him a question he just stares back with a worried look on his face.

So the guy shows up for class today and... oops! looks like he needs to join some pair as a third wheel. I have to admit I wasn't actually planning on inviting him to join our pair. My partner did. Now that he did though, I don't regret it. And it feels like a good deed after all.

ONE GOOD DEED: Let the guy who nobody wants to partner with join our group.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Monday, November 9, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sorry... internet connection is crap!

My internet connection has been so terrible that I have hardly posted for two weeks now. I am continuing my good deeds, but I just can't record them publicly at the moment.

I have also resolved to complete 365 days of good deeds and then discontinue publicly posting. I will continue the deeds but posting has become a bit of a chore. The web site will remain, though.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

R's Show at Memory Lanes

My girlfriend R is in a band called Samwell Rowan, and they played at Memory Lanes tonight. I really wanted to see the show, for my own enjoyment as well as to support her. Not only that, but I also got the opportunity to invite my cousin R, whom I haven't been able to hang out with much lately but who loves music concerts. It turns out he knows the bassist Sam from years ago!

ONE GOOD DEED: Support R at her show and invite my cousin R as well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

House of Charity with R

My girlfriend R and I both had today off from work, so we decided to volunteer at House of Charity. We served lunch to over two hundred folks fallen on hard times.

ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at House of Charity.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Helping my cousin R move

My cousin R helps me out a lot with my car, so I was happy to return the favor by helping him move out to St Louis Park.

ONE GOOD DEED: Help my cousin move.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.