Just For The Good Of It

There are many times in my life where I’ve thought “I wish I had the time to make that part of the world OK again”. But invariably time and money always gets in the way of my goals for world improvement. (ok, and frequently politics).  (ok, and frequently over commitment to too many things that need to be made better).  Sometimes I wish I could just get paid to “do the right thing” of my choosing. Here’s a salary. Go forth and do good.


The problem is that little in the world works that way. Capitalism is founded on the belief that both sides of a transaction must prosper economically for the transaction to be beneficial. But when one side of the transaction is “the good of mankind” it turns out that the entity doesn’t have any cash to spend. And unfortunately the world works on cash (or at least my mortgage seems to think so).  Many times an idea may be good in theory but there is no way of having it “turn a financial profit” even if world would be better off with its instantiation.

Even if there was a “for world good” entity with funding to spend at will there is an inherent problem of trust of the common man. Even if only 10% of the world embezzled or drank their money away with nothing positive to show for it (and I only wish the percentage was that low) the average sponsor would be pretty distrustful of all the applicants.

So in the mean time, most of my grand ideas for world good (ranging all over the map from improved communication systems to improved emergency response solutions) will have to remain in my head until someone comes along willing to just pay people to “go forth and do good”.

What would you do, given unlimited funding “to just do good”?

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The best laid parental plans taste awful

The Plan

A while back I considered ways to get my son to try a few new foods. So I came up with this plan: take ingredients he liked and put them in a matrix that he could put stickers on. Some fun ingredients and some wacky ones. IE, something like this:

  Bread Graham Crackers Ritz Crackers

And then we’d try new combinations and put stickers in the squares we liked, and Xs in the squares we didn’t.

The execution

“This’ll do it” I thought to myself. Well, stop laughing all you seasoned parents. The result was my adventurous daughter was eager to fill every square. My reserved son (the one I was trying to impress with this whole setup) refused to try any combination he hadn’t tried before.

Don’t get me wrong: kid’s are different. I was wrong in thinking I could influence them. They each have their own personalities. I love the fact that my daughter points at a ridge and says “lets hike there”. I love the fact that my son has shot goals past me in soccer because he’s had me laughing so hard there was no way to defend myself. They each have their own special talents and attributes. I’m the one who has learned to adapt to them, not the other way around.

The recent results

Meanwhile, years later, my Daughter has been begging me to do another “try it” meal. So I gave in again (we’re up to a count of about 4 at this point) and we gave another whack at it tonight. My son, who started complaining immediately, got oatmeal and other random things for dinner since I the rules say you don’t force a kid when it comes to food. My daughter and I embarked on a episode of trials and tribulations. So here are the two winners(?) for the night:

  • Best Combination: Graham Crackers and Yogurt. Holy cow batman. This one surprised me. I mean, I knew it would be good. But this is like dessert-quality good, not just “good”. My daughter and I both agree.
  • Worst Combination: Pears and Ketchup. Holy cow batman. I knew it’d be bad, but this is really really really really bad. Insert a few infinity-signs before the “bad” in that statement. Oh man. I mean bad. I mean don’t try this at home bad.

Tips for Parents

Try fun but simple adventures some times. You’ll be amazed how profound of an effect you’ll have on your kids, regardless of whether it was the effect you intended or not. Either way, they’ll gain something from the experience.

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