Let me explain.
A Facebook friend of mine, Abby Cheesman, posted a link a couple of months ago that struck a chord in my heart.
The post told about a simple campaign that was trying to spread a message with only four words:
Do Good. Be Kind.
When I saw the baseball jersey with these words printed on it, I had to have one.
Abby's mom and dad, Peg and Brad Neilson, who were in my tai chi class this winter, gave me one of the shirts at the end of a series of classes. They also gave Nancy a shirt.
In the couple of months since, these words have haunted me every day, but in a good way. I wake up and think about how I can accomplish this every day.
How can I do good, and how can I offer kindness to others today?
Since the 1970s, I have tried to live according to philosophical Taoism and, to a lesser degree, Zen Buddhism.
If you are truly connected to others, to the world around you, doing good for others becomes natural. You treat others as you would treat yourself. You do not do good because you hope to be rewarded with something -- money, eternal life, etc. -- you do good for moral reasons, for goodness' sake.
Likewise, being kind to others is rooted in being connected and centered. You cannot treat another person with cruelty if you have your act together. You only behave in a mean way when you perceive yourself as better, or as special, or perhaps even as worse than they are, and your mean actions are masking a feeling of inferiority.
It is complicated to explain how to connect to all things, and how to remain centered at all times. It also takes a lot of practice.
That is why "Do Good. Be Kind." hit me like a two-by-four. In its simplicity lies perfection. This is really all you need.
If you seek to do good in each action you take, and if you seek to be kind to every person you encounter each day, you will connect and you will be centered.
In the real world, however, we do fall short. There are times when anger is appropriate. I study and teach self-defense because, even if our goal in practicing kung-fu is to master ourselves, we understand that there may be times when we must defend against those who are not kind, are not good, and are not centered.
But most of the time, the choice is ours. How do we behave each day? We can decide for ourselves.
So each day now, I ponder these four words. As I go through today, I will look for every opportunity to Do Good. Be Kind.
I hope you will, too. Think of the ripple effect we can have in the lives of others, the Butterfly Effect that an act of kindness could have.
It's worth a try, isn't it?
A philosophy is useless if it is not put into action. So let's live our philosophy today. Do Good. Be Kind.
Visit the website -- www.dogoodbekind.life -- and check out their mission and their apparel. It was started by Christopher Kurtz of Peer Thru. He and his wife Brittany run the nonprofit for Do Good. Be Kind. Please help spread this wonderful message.