“Do Good and Disappear” (Sept. 2019)

Susan's Thursday morning note September 26, 2019
“Do Good and Disappear”

Good morning!  The angel of dawn has handed a beautiful summer morning to bring us into this day.  A few minutes of time to read.  Time to write for you a phrase that has made an imprint in my mind and now to enter yours.  Do good and disappear.  I read the following paragraph on this phrase, on showing goodness with no desire for recognition.  Following this are quotes I’ve found on goodness for us to fill our minds with today.  The gift of today.  Tonight we will have the chance to write onto stone our epitaph of the moments of time we will be handed today.  Will we have moments that are worthy of inscription on how we used this gift?  Looking to the heavens, dropping the foot (even if mentally) to our knees?  Do good and disappear…imagining in my mind the scene of a French nurse speaking to someone she cared for over a century ago.

“Do good and disappear.” – Genevieve Hennet De Goutel.  “I first heard these words years ago from the dedicated woman whose story I was one day to write.  She told me that the words came from the diary of Genevieve Hennet de Goutel, a heroic French nurse who died in World War I.  They were painted in large Gothic letters over the door of a ward in the convent hospital in Belgium where she received her training.  The sense of the saying was immediately apparent.  It’s this:  When you give something, say something or do something helpful to a fellow man, you don’t stand around waiting to collect your pound of gratitude – the shy smile, the stumbling words of thanks, or, worse still, the tears which sometimes come when great weights of trouble are suddenly lifted.  You simply give, say or do – and disappear.”  (Modesty by Kathryn Hulme, author of The Nun’s Story)

* To do good and be evil spoken of, is kingly.  (Bene facere et male audire regium est.) (unknown)

* Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained.  Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest.  Thus honesty is attained.  Lao Tzu

* If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal.  Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.  Nelson Mandela

* The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind.  But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.  Chanakya

* It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.  Mahatma Gandhi

* Goodness is easier to recognize than to define.  W.H. Auden

* While I can crawl upon this planet I think myself obliged to do what good I can, in my narrow domestic spheres, to my fellow creatures, and to wish them all the good I cannot do.  Lord Chesterfield

* When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad,  I feel bad.  And that’s my religion.  Abraham Lincoln

* A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.  George Bernard Shaw

 Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.  John Wesley

* I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.  Anne Frank

* It is very wearing to be good.  Mark Twain

* Goodness speaks in a whisper, evil shouts.  Tibetan Proverb

* All that is good, all that is true, all that is beautiful, all that is beneficent, be it great or small, be it perfect or fragmentary, natural as well as supernatural, moral as well as material, comes from God.  John Henry Newman

*The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but too reveal to him his own.  Benjamin Disraeli

* Goodness defined:  a. the state of being good.  b. moral excellence; virtue.  c. kindly feeling, kindness, generosity, joy in being good.  d.  the best part of anything. essence.  strength.  e. general character recognized in quality or conduct

* Conquer a man who never gives by gifts; Subdue untruthful men by truthfulness; Vanquish an angry man by gentleness; and overcome the evil man by goodness.  Indian Proverb

* The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22

* Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness.  If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most.  It is not complicated but it takes courage.  It takes courage for a person to listen to his own good.  Pablo Casals (Spanish Cellist 1876-1973)

* Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.  William Saroyan

* Because the divine goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, God produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting in one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another.  For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided.  Thus the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature.  St. Thomas Aquinas

Latin for this week:
Bene facere et male audire regium est – To do good and be evil spoken of, is kingly.   (unknown)
bonitas – goodness
summum bonum – the highest good