There is a hymn we sang in Primary and Sunday School during our growing up years:
Have I done any good in the world today?Have I helped anyone in need,
Have I cheered up the sad
And made someone feel glad,
If not, I have failed indeed.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansions above.
Doing good is a pleasure,
A joy beyond measure
A blessing of duty and love.
Songs from our childhood creep into our consciousness the older we grow. Now we have more time and opportunities to do some good in the world today - but we are inclined to be critical of ourselves and to believe that any good we may do will be insignificant.
So we sometimes don't bother to make the telephone call to a friend who is feeling blue. We don't always send the small note letting someone dear to us know how we feel. Unfortunately it may seem less effort just to "dream of our mansions."
It doesn't take much time to do a bit of good. Since we are making cookies anyway, why not give some to someone who can't make his own? If we are feeling grumpy, why not say something pleasant to the person who has tolerated our sometimes grumpy days for many years. It won't cost anything and will make us feel a bit better about ourselves.
Doing something good surely means putting ourselves on the receiving end of our resolve, for if we can't feel good about ourselves, even if we are old, then we surely can't feel good about anyone else. Perhaps this is the day to put bubble bath left from a grandchild's visit into the tub and take a leisurely bath. That isn't in the Primary song, but it will do a tad of good, for ourselves at least.
Perhaps we can decide that a bit of rouge on the cheeks, like we used to wear when the bloom of youth was still there, will make us look better and show a more cheerful face to the world who will respond in kind.
We don't need to embark on a huge project to do our bit of good. Perhaps we can thank the paperboy who always puts the paper within easy reach of us oldsters. Maybe we can note the way our garbage man is so faithful and efficient. It would be easy to give him a cold drink and a cookie on a hot day. He will feel a bit better, and so will we!
Despite how much we say we would like to improve the world, we know we are not equipped to take on that large a job considering our advancing years, our gimpy leg, and the way we can't always remember the right word, plus our total ineptitude at world improvement.
So we may have to be content with doing just that bit of good that we can still accomplish. I can't go back to Primary days, but I can still sing (better if there is no one to hear) and even resolve to "wake up and do something more than dream of my mansions above." I must try to remember that "doing good is pleasure," and there aren't too many simple pleasures in our lives anymore!