Kelley Smoot Garrett
Continuing on with the 2nd Good Deed of healing the beautiful bird’s broken wing, this page shows how Good Deeds begat Good Deeds, a defining trait of identifying and acknowledging the good deeds that occur daily around us: both good deeds done by you, and those done for you.
Once Princess April Morning-Glory has healed the beautiful bird’s wing, the beautiful bird uses his new-found health to continue on his regularly appointed rounds of singing “to the Princess who is kept locked in the tower…” Along with nursing, entertainment of others was a big part of the contribution people in Letitia’s daily world made to each other. During the year Princess April Morning-Glory was written & illustrated (1940), the world was clearly heading towards another world war, and in the midst of the shared social sacrifices & duties expected of women during those pre-WWII years, was both nursing (healing the wounded) and entertainment of those who might be convalescing from an illness, or in this case, an innocent, locked up for reasons that will soon be revealed….
Since beginning this serialization on January 28, 2013, two different projects to share the work of Doing Good Deeds has been brought to my attention, that are very worthy of discussion at this point in our story, as we examine how the Good Deeds of Letitia’s protagonists are begatting further Good Deeds. Both of these programs are designed to encourage the Doing of More Good Deeds than currently exists, and that’s exactly the message that Letitia would want!
SPPRAK — Special People Performing Random Acts of Kindness — started in 2009, and this year the program is in all 28 elementary schools in Vigo County, Indiana. Alerted to SPPRAK’s existence by an NBC Nightly News piece by Kevin Tibbles:
Kevin Tibbles, NBC Reporter: It’s simple. each time someone sends kindness your way, jot it down and post it. the walls of local schools now blossom with hundreds of tiny, multi-colored thank yous, all penned by kids like those in Mrs. Smudde’s first grade class.
HS Student 1, Matthew: It gives me the power to change someone’s life through something as small as writing on a post-it note.
HS Student 2, Dario: We live in a world where all we see is darkness and hate. I feel like the SPPRAK wall shows that’s not true.
Elementary Student, aged 6 ¾: It is good, mostly for bad people to learn good instead of doing bad because bad stuff could just hurt other people’s feelings.
Clearly SPPRAK is right up any Good Deed Doer’s alley and exactly the sort of initiative Letitia could have supported 110%, as SPPRAK allows acts of random kindness a space in which to be created, and a public honoring of the simple gestures that deeply enrich the simplest of daily, human interactions.
The second initiative is an art exhibit that Letitia would have simply adored! Called Exchange, it’s being staged by ceramic artist Clare Twomey at the Foundling Museum1. From the museum’s description of Exchange:
A new, site-specific commission from acclaimed British ceramic artist Clare Twomey gives visitors to the Foundling Museum the opportunity to take home a unique work of art, but only on condition they carry out a specific good deed.
Oooohhh!! Trading art for Good Deeds Done? See why Letitia would have been so intrigued by this fascinating installation?! I mean why just settle for the Doing of Good Deeds, when you can have Art at the same time? The brilliance of this plan, as well as the lovely execution of tea cups and saucers by Clare Twomey, would have delighted and enraptured Letitia. Please do drop by this online exhibit and contribute Good Deeds for others to do, or accept a Good Deed to do in exchange for virtual Art. You’ll feel great! And so will the person who selects your Good Deed to do!
Where in your life can you think of either Acknowledging or Doing Good Deeds? How about implementing a SPPRAK board in your home or work place? Where do you see that Good Deeds done for you has allowed you to do more Good Deeds? How can you improve upon that?
Until next week, dear readers….
1The Foundling Museum in London tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain’s first home for abandoned children. The museum examines the work of the Foundling Hospital’s founder Thomas Coram, as well as the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel, both major benefactors of the institution. Exchange by Clare Twomey at the Foundling Museum, London, UK, runs from 14 June 2013 – 15 September 2013, 10:00 – 17:00.