I was telling some friends about our plan for Do Good Talks, launching next spring. They liked the idea, but someone wondered whether there would be enough “good” to talk about. Good question!

A few hours later I was talking with another friend. The cost of living came up, and that led to him saying, “There just doesn’t seem to be much good going on.”

Au contraire!” I replied, using the French for emphasis. It means “on the contrary,” and I went on to say, “There is a lot of good in the world. We just don’t hear about it, so we have to look for it.”

He agreed, knowing that the media prefers bad news because it sells better.

Because of those two conversations, I thought I might help us all see some of the good around us.

I hope you’ll do three things with this: enjoy it; be encouraged by it; share it with people who need to see some good in the world.

Good people

I’m just a regular guy, but I could literally fill this column with the names of good people I know. You probably could, too. And I meet more of them all the time! Within the last few days I’ve met Paige, Tye, Kristen, Murph, Tanner, and Chip. To help you think of good people, here are some categories.

Good friends

You likely don’t know who Marla Cannon-Goodman and Ward Davis are, but you probably do recognize Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

The latter two recorded (together) a song written by the former two: Unfair Weather Friend. The lyrics begin:

The whole sky opens up, and it rains down on my head
I show up at your door, beat down and soakin’ wet.
I know you will open up and let me waltz right in
My come whatever, unfair weather friend.

If you have friends like that, you are blessed. Most of all, be a friend like that.

Good neighbors

We’ve lived in apartments, in condos, and in several houses. We’ve always had good neighbors. I hope you have, too, and I hope you’ve been a good neighbor.

Good role models

Any time you have a platform, which is what people who other people pay attention to call it, there is a responsibility to be a role model. Scottie Scheffler (golf) is one of those today. So are Coco Gauff (tennis), Patrick Mahomes (football), Jackie Robinson (baseball), the Jonas Brothers (music), and Dave Ramsey (finance).

Good entertainment

We all like to be entertained now and then. The challenge with a lot of today’s movies and TV shows is they are not good. (I don’t mean that in the qualitative sense, and I don’t mean it in the subjective sense. I mean it in the moral sense, which is the sense I’ve been using all along.)

But there is a lot of really good entertainment. Forrest Gump, A Beautiful Mind, The Shawshank Redemption, are all movies that have inspired millions, including me.

And if you want to laugh out loud, watch YouTube clips of comedians Jeff Allen and Nate Bargatze. (Both of them, as it happens, are excellent golfers. Because golf itself will make you need to laugh.)

Good books

My friend Mark introduced me to my new friend Tye. In that conversation I asked Tye if he had read a particular book. He had not, adding that he was not much of a reader. Mark said, “If you know Lewis long enough, he’ll give you the names of about 4 billion books you should read.” We all laughed, but Mark was right. Books are like my friends, and I want my people friends to know my book friends, just like I want them to know my other people friends.

Best true story golf book ever written: The Greatest Game Ever Played (Mark Frost). The movie was solid, the book is amazing. Funniest book by the best comic writer ever: Right Ho, Jeeves! (P. G. Wodehouse). Most insightful book on suffering and life: Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl).

Good views (beauty)

I happen to live in The Grand Canyon State, so I’ve been to the Grand Canyon. But I don’t care where in the world you live, you should see — in person — the Grand Canyon. “Grand” is a good start, but also an understatement.

When I first saw the Sydney Opera House as I was flying in to Sydney, I was gobsmacked. Likewise, the first time I saw the ocean waters in Hawaii, I was sure they had been dyed blue by the visitor’s bureau. Michelangelo’s Pieta is undeniably beautiful and inspiring. So are the Swiss Alps, Lake Como in Italy, the city of Venice, and the Statue of Liberty.

Good companies

I’m in the process of writing a book about good companies, and I’ll post an article about that soon. For now let me just list a few companies that I know are good in the best sense of the word and also very good at what they do.

Scheels is headquartered in Fargo, ND. Their 33 stores might not sound like much, but they continue to break their own record of having the World’s Largest All Sports Store, now at more than 330,000 square feet! Beyond that, they do an amazing amount of good.

More good companies: Chick-fil-A, PING, Johnston & Co. in Gilbert, AZ, Hermann Design Group in California, Hobby Lobby, and hundreds — if not thousands — more. All of them are subject to the same business pressures every other company faces, but they are good and do good.

Good country

I have been in several countries other than the U.S. that are wonderful. No country in the world, though, is more good than the United States of America.

Do we have problems? Yes. Could we be even better? Yes. But we are good. Next week I’ll tell you why I know that is true.

In the meantime, those of you in America enjoy the rest of your 4th of July weekend. And remember, there is a lot of good all around you.

Thank you for adding to it!

Leave a Reply