One Good Deed: 365 days of trying to be just a little bit better

By Erin McHugh

ISBN:  978-1-4197-0417-8 (alk. paper)

Published by: Abrams Books, USA

Book received via: Net Galley

At the age of 52, Erin McHugh decided to actively pursue her dream of writing books. Consequently, she was unable to spend time on the volunteer work and activism that she did in the past. Influenced by a family connection with a  newly canonized Saint – Brother Andre Bessette, she thought she could do something good for someone every day.  She decided to keep a diary of her deeds and that is how One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Bettercame about.

Starting on her birthday she begins to share the good deed she did for the days that follow. It’s simple things like stopping off patronize a lemonade stand run by kids or giving up her prized window seat in a bus to allow an elderly couple to sit together. Sometimes her good deed is not reacting to provocation. “What’s so great about that?” you ask. Try it at home and let me know. 😉

One of Erin’s ‘deeds’ I appreciated was when she went to a restaurant and kept waiting for her order. Finally, she was told that since it had taken so long, it would be on the house. She was naturally happy. When the food came it was really delicious. Erin offered to pay for it. The waitress came back saying that the offer for free food still stood. Erin left a generous tip for the waitress. I thought there were a lot of things that happened in this one deed – she did not yell at the restaurant staff (as I might have), she had a good meal, her offer to pay for it must have made the management happy, their refusal made Erin happy and the waitress got a tip which made her happy, I’m sure.  It just goes to show that one good deed can create ripples of goodness.

I liked Erin’s style of writing – chatty, engaging and you feel that you know her having had a walk-through of 365 days of her life. What’s more the ‘good deeds’ are things that everyone of us can do – everyday acts of kindness that make us better human beings and consequently the world a better place.

One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better is a book I’d like to  keep and read everyday for inspiration. For the purpose of the review, I had to read it in a few days time. But I’ll make sure to read it again slowly and be inspired. It’s the kind of book that will inspire me to take up a similar project – I can feel it coming on already. Stay tuned. Better still get yourself a copy – be inspired – and take up your own One Good Deed project.

May you be inspired – every day!