The day I started this new ‘column,’ I knew that the following forty days and nights were going to be perhaps the most intense block of forty days and nights I had ever faced.
So far, I’ve been right.
If you’ve been following these chronicles, you’d know that one weekend alone was simply bananas. It’s been difficult for me to even keep up with writing new entries…
But I’ve been hinting at two other super major things that I’ve been waiting for a final word on.
Well, one has been answered. And I’m going to share it with you soon, just not quite yet. It’s final, but not FINAL final, so I’m just waiting for one more milestone.
It’s not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just a thing. To many, however, it will be viewed as a major thing. An admirable thing. To some — certainly for one — it will be heroic.
There is, of course, some trepidation when it comes to touting a heroic deed, sharing what will ultimately be as personal a thing as a thing could be, and sharing it with the world — with you, random friends and internet strangers.
We’re not supposed to announce when we do kind deeds. Of course, people do it — companies do it — sometimes under the bright lights of press conferences and unveilings, making sure that philanthropic deeds get the most media attention. I get it. That’s part of the corporate or personal brand game. And I definitely have a personal brand I’d like to enhance — why else would I be putting my personal thoughts onto the web in the form of this #40DaysAnd40Nights series.
So I weighed this one. Fact is, it’s none of y’all damn business what I’m about to do. And though I probably have some of the same traits as the narcissist ass artists I spend a lot of time with (I’m half-joking, but y’all know I’m half-right), I still have some moral compass when it comes to patting myself on the back.
Still, I think there are times when you should be vocal about the things you do that some might see as brave or noble. Because even when we do those things out of bravery or righteousness, we’re probably really scared.
I know I am.
But we somehow muster up the strength and courage to do the thing anyway. Maybe it’s just inside us, and we’re going to do it no matter what. But maybe, the experiences we’ve gone through in life, the people we’ve seen do brave things before us, give us that confidence, that ability to plunge forward even though it’s scary — just because we know it’s the right thing to do.
In those cases, I think it’s ok to toot your own horn. It lets others know that doing the “right thing” doesn’t always feel good. That it can really, really hurt. That it can be scary. That in some cases, like in mine, your actual life is going to be on the line.
But through all of that, there is something noble about doing the right thing, especially for someone else. In my work with News Beat, a social justice podcast, we’re always bringing to light issues that affect people in insidious ways, injustices that affect lives and communities. What I love most about our podcast, is that at the end, we talk about the guests — often the ones on the frontlines of the issue, fighting the good fight — and their organizations, letting people who are affected by the episode know exactly where to go to help make a difference.
Helping others in need is the noblest human sacrifice. Hearing about others who have sacrificed for others makes it easier for us to do it. It might still be scary, but we know others have come before us, did the good thing, and the world is better for it. And that helps when it’s our turn.
So… I’m still waiting for the FINAL final milestone to let me know that I will indeed be doing this noble thing, but I will tell you all about it, not because I am vain (though I am), and not because I want your praise (though I do love me some praise)…
I’ll share it with you because I want you to know that even when it’s scary… Even when it’s going to hurt… Even when there is a sizable risk involved…
We should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
I’m going to do it. And I’ll be here to help encourage anyone else to do the same.