Written by: Lynn Wallich
Date: July 2, 2015
Nicholas Winton-The Power of Good won an International Emmy in 2002. The Columbus Dispatch published an article on July 2, 2015 that describes the heroic actions of a young British man named Nicolas Winton. He was born in London in 1909 to parents of German Jewish decent but raised Christian. He saved 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia by transporting them from Prague to Britain. Nicolas said nothing of this for 50 years until his wife found documentation of these events and persuaded Nicholas to tell the story to the BBC. The BBC tracked down “Nicky’s Children” and a reunion was televised entitled Nicholas Winton-The Power of Good.
This article struck a nerve because of the discreet nature of a young man who could have decided to simply travel and continue to enjoy freedom (for a time) while other parts of the country were fighting of theirs. Instead, Nicholas made a decision to risk everything to move young children out of occupied Czechoslovakia. How does one decide to step forward and make a difference? Millions of Jews lost their lives but the Nicolas Winton’s and Oskar Schindler’s’ did make a difference in the lives of many.
Being a true optimist, the belief exists that many people are making a difference in today’s world. One does not have to live through a war to perform the “Power of Good” although it seems like there will always be a war going on in some parts of the world. A recent example of working for the overall good is the decision on marriage equality. This case moved to the Supreme Court level because of two people who had been together for years and decided to be recognized as married because one was dying of ALS. This took a team of people to make the case and stand strong and in the end it changed the entire United States. Love won and marriage is no longer about gender, race or religion.
Think about the simple idea of performing a good deed for someone without being asked. Recently, a friend said that when arriving at the drive-up window of a coffee shop, it was discovered that the ordered drink had already been paid for by the previous driver. This simple act provided a feeling of gratefulness and surprise. The question is not why would someone do this but why would someone not do this? It requires a different mindset of operation. One must actually leave the feeling of worrying about oneself and think about the present surroundings and what may make someone’s day.
One does not always need to spend money on a stranger, however, it does provide initiate a feeling of “good” within one’s heart. Paying a vet bill, purchasing groceries, buying gas, are just a few ideas besides mowing someone’s grass, making a phone call, running an errand, driving someone to an appointment, and making an unexpected visit. More people need to understand the “power of good” and the impact it makes on the everyone’s life.
Slow down, take a breath, think about the surroundings, notice other people and do one thing that can make a difference daily no matter how small. An internal feeling of joy will take over that will actually create a smile and be close to performing a dance.