Doing Good Is More Important Than Doing Well

Scott Webb
Scott Webb

“Dream. Try. Do good.”

“Don’t you mean ‘do well?’”

“No, I mean, ‘do good.’”

I was maybe 19 years old when I first heard these lines, the final words of wisdom from my favorite teacher, Mr. George Feeny, in the finale of my favorite series “Boy Meets World.”

Even then I thought I knew what that meant, but I never realized until lately just how powerful those words are.

We live in a world where people are actually more courageous and persistent in pursuing their dreams, where they not only try, but they actually go out and “do.” Success stories are born every other day because society is now braver and bolder and more absorbed in doing well. And that isn’t a bad thing.

We need more people like Mother Teresa, who, in spite of a controversial reputation, really did give her life to charity, to making the world a better place.

We need more people like Angelina Jolie who uses her celebrity status to speak for those cannot, for women and children who are fighting for their rights everywhere.

We need more people like Mitch Albom, whose faith and talent merged so admirably, that the things he write inspire those who read it to lead better lives.

We need more people like Leonardo di Caprio, who braved millions of internet memes of Oscar-less years, but used his acceptance speech to educate the world on the environment and not taking it for granted (not to mention fearlessly fighting for our Mother Earth every single day).

We need more people like that cab driver who returned his passenger’s iPhone 6 out of simple honesty.

We need more people like that compassionate little kid in sixth grade who used his lunch money to buy his mom card when he saw her cry, just to make her feel better.

The list will never end. But you know we need them, these people who truly care about the world we live in. The people who feel the pains of spending a thousand dollars on a gorgeous gown because the same money could feed an entire community in Africa. The people who understand that this world is made up of sugar and spice and a lot of individuals that aren’t very nice, but continue to fight for the same world day in and day out. The people who keep speaking for the voiceless even when their own voices fall on mostly deaf ears.

It is important to dream. It is still important to try. But more than doing well, in your own way, it is essential that you do good. Because the faceless, nameless people who walk these streets taking every day to be kind for the sake of humanity are the people who make this a better world to live in, more than the collective efforts of the renowned billionaires of the world.

Gandhi once said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I am but another faceless, nameless human whose words might fall on no one’s ears. But for the sake of faith and hope in a world that is still beautiful and incredible: Please the good that you want to see in the world.

“Dream. Try. And do good.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Sometimes, I soar. Sometimes, I tumble. But most times, I free-wheel.

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