Unemployment is high and affordable housing for those who need it is low. Keeping an eye on your 401K? Don’t worry if you just wait until you are 185 years old you should have enough money to retire. Turn on the news and learn about violence, corruption, unrest and general hostility toward one and other…and that is just before the first commercial break. Of course the commercials will explain that if you are not crying tears of joy everyday, you have a problem that urgently needs to be treated with some wonder pills. Don’t even get me started on Washington…
Depressing isn’t it? On our recent trip to the Natural Products Show I got to hear Patch Adams (not Robin Williams, but the real Patch Adams) speak and it was eye opening to say the least. Someone asked him why depression is on the rise and to paraphrase his answer he said – If you are NOT depressed by all the crap you hear on the news every night, then you have a real medical issue! As Patch Adams said, depression is the normal human response to being surrounded by non-stop negativity.
Fear Not, We Have Figured Out a Cure for Depression
You might be thinking, does a daddy blog really have the credentials to cure depression? Yes, yes we do (check that out – quoting Phineas and curing depression – bu-yah!). You simply need to become a magnet or antenna for all the good, caring and kindness in the world. Well, ’nuff said we will send you a bill for your session, our time is up for today…
Still around? Okay, we will explain in more detail. As many of our readers know we just completed our Giving for Good Giveaway. We were able to come up with over $1,000 in toys for families in need and about $700 in cash to give to the Food Bank (which they can leverage into $9,100 in food). To be honest, we did the giveaway because we wanted to give back to the community and figured that would be that. Little did we know that our giveaway would completely retune our brains to a more caring, positive and dare I say optimistic frequency.
Doing Good Makes You An Antenna For Other People’s Good Deeds
When I lost my mother to cancer I became part of a club I never wanted to be in – people who have lost a parent to a terrible disease. Suddenly, everyone I talked to had stories about cancer and losing loved ones. Friends I had known for years and never discussed health issues with suddenly started sharing their tragic stories – because I was part of this club now. It was reassuring to know I was not alone, but also somewhat depressing as well.
Well, have I cured your depression by talking about cancer and death yet? Okay, here is where it gets better. Just as terrible events make you a part of one club, doing good makes you a part of another club. By doing our Giving for Good giveaway we joined a much more positive club, where people were doing whatever they could to make some positive change. Suddenly we were a magnet for good, inspiring and uplifting stories. We were tuned into the good stories going on all around us and that will break any downer funk you are in. We could write 10 pages about all the great things we learned that people are doing, but here are some quick samples…
Building Libraries in Zambia
Amy and I are both community leaders at the KOA Campfire (quick plug, if you have not come over to virtual campfire, come join the discussion – you will learn incredible ways to make S’mores). As I was talking to Amy about our giveaway, she mentioned this incredible Passports with Purpose program that she is involved in. The goal is to raise enough money to build not one, but two libraries in Zambia. I would have stopped at one, but I am clearly a slacker. In any case, check out this post on Pit Stops for Kids and learn how you can win incredible prizes and help build the libraries. Also, if you are not regular reading Pit Stops for Kids, you really should be – cool stuff!
Buy a Book and E3 Imagine Will Give A Book
Then there is Todd from E3 Imagine who has traveled to some of the most dangerous places in the world and come away with 12 beautiful truths. E3 Imagine has a simple plan, when you buy a book, they will give a book to a child waiting to learn. I don’t know Todd and until a few days ago I had never heard of E3 Imagine. Just by tweeting about doing good, Todd got in touch and now I know about another person and organization that is doing great things.
Regular People Doing Incredible Things
Take a look at the comments on the Giving for Good giveaway and you will see how many people have wonderful traditions of giving back around the holidays. These are not huge companies trying to get some press by doing good, this is your neighbor, sister or friend. People who may not have much themselves, but they still find ways to give back each year and teach their kids the merits of compassion. Some of the people who won toys in our giveaway have told us they are donating the toys to Toys for Tots – how incredible is that?
Doing Good? Yeah, There’s an App For That
Believe it or not, I am in the middle of writing this very article and I get an email telling me about an App that allows you to track and view acts of good and kindness. That is some spooky Karma! The Boom Boom! App is the place to shout out, acknowledge, give props and otherwise celebrate acts of guerilla goodness. We loved the Boom Boom cards when we reviewed them, but this app looks like an incredible way to report and see the goodness all around us.
Did We Cause This Onslaught of Good?
Obviously not. The compassion and caring has always been happening all around us, by doing our small act of kindness we just got tuned into this positive vibe. Think about how the media works in the other extreme. If some celebrity is involved in a boating accident, suddenly a surge of other boating accidents gets reported. After the celebrity accident, did the waters instantly become less safe and cause a rash of other accidents? Of course not, the media just tunes into this and starts to report boating accidents that they would have never reported before.
So, How Do You Cure Depression?
Stop watching the news and start making your own positive news! Do a small act of compassion and kindness and share it with a few friends. In no time, your friends will share their good deeds with you and you will be seeing the goodness in people and feeling great. The compassion is out there, it always has been, you just need to tune into it.