Goody Two-Shoes

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By Andrea Goto

“Do good things”—that’s the charge pressed into the red rubber bracelet my friend Jamie Deen gave me.

Back in February, Jamie decided to use his celebrity to raise money selling these bands for $1 in support of Savannah’s food bank, America’s Second Harvest. Every dollar goes directly to this charitable organization.

I’ll admit that at first it seemed silly wearing a red rubber band that clashed with every outfit I owned.  It got tied up in my silver bangle bracelets and made my wrist a little hot, as only an accessory in the swampy humidity of the South can do.  I do support America’s Second Harvest, but does not donning the band somehow make me a demi-donor?  A semi-supporter?  Should I instead be wearing a band that says “Do some good things?”  All this hesitancy toward wearing the band in spite of its noble cause got me wondering: has doing good things gone the way of banana clips and spiral perms?  Is the day-glo bracelet a metaphor for how kindness has fallen out of fashion?

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“It’s not really a market for good news,” Jamie said to me not too long ago, frustrated with the media that finds the whisper of scandal far more interesting than the hard fact that he’s helped feed over a million people in need.

I get it.  The nightly news is packaged to astonish us and to catch our attention—to throw the unimaginable into our imaginations.  But it’s the good news that impacts us in a big way, changing the landscape of our lives.  The determined junior-college baseball player who made the unmakeable catch.  The child whose lemonade-stand proceeds go to help other children in need.  My friends who are walking across the U.S. to raise awareness about preservation (it’s worth a peek! www.hikingandhoping.com).  The good news is there, you just have to look for it—and sometimes you don’t have to look as hard as you may think.

As of late I’ve been trying to actively surround myself with good people doing good things—people who are creative, inventive, responsible and kind—and distancing myself from the one-uppers whose personal struggles threaten to rain on my otherwise positive parade.  But it’s not enough to simply frolic in the fountain of goodness; I have to do my part.  I thought this would require some effort, but really just required me to listen to the shiny happy voices in my heart.  I’ve tried to be more appreciative and thoughtful.  It’s a little thing that has paid off in a big way with invaluable friendships and unexpected opportunities.  I suppose in the land of Facebook “likes” and Twitter messages followed by “#thankful,” even the effort of a handwritten “thank you” note and 50-cent stamp goes a few miles further. 

A young girl once informed me that handwritten notes were old fashioned and dated (she also said that married women with children should not be allowed to use Facebook because they were no longer interesting).  But if people like her think kindness is no longer in fashion, I’m not longer worried about looking out of date.

Besides, I don’t actually believe that kindness is old fashioned.  Like smiling and saying “good morning,” the new car smell and popsicles, good things are timeless.  More important, I can teach my daughter that doing good things should always be a priority.  And I can begin this lesson by sporting a day-glo band in spite of the aesthetic challenge it may pose to my wardrobe.

Want to be a do-gooder? Get your “Do Good Things” bracelet by clicking here.

Andrea Goto swore that she would not let her child watch SpongeBob, take ballet, or consume food with Red Dye #40. Of course, that all changed when her daughter was actually born. Five years later, Andrea blogs about her revised approach to childrearing, which she likes to call Real-World Parenting. Her “technique” is based on commonsense and topped with a big dose of humor. Andrea is a regular contributor to PaulaDeen.com.
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Reader Comments:

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Did Jamie and Brooke have another child ? Why do we not ever see or hear about it ???? It's always Jack this and Jack that ?????? Would like to see child .

By Betty on June 19, 2012

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Hi Charlene, Jamie and his beautiful wife Brooke did have a second baby, a son they named Matthew James Deen. Have seen a few photos of him, looks just like his older brother. I too love Paula's web site, full of recipes, tips, home dec ideas; what a wonderful lady Paula is, Capt. Michael, Jamie, Bobby and all the family are terrific as well. Really enjoy watching them on t.v.

By Christina Takacs on June 19, 2012

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I love this web site, I love reading about Paula's family, just moved from Houston Texas, and can't wait to go to the Lady and Sons. Sure hope I get to see Jamie .

By bobbie_1128@yahoo.com on June 19, 2012

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I was watching Home for dinner with Jamie Deen last Saturday (6/9/12) & noticed toward last when little Jack gave his brother a chicken bone for him to chew on. I think that is terrible for him to do that & there are splinter in that bones & that baby could choke on it.

By Anonymous on June 19, 2012

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I love Paula Dean's Web site and have had it a few years!!! Didn't Jamie and his lovely wife have another child? Daughter? I might be wrong but am wondering. Kindly advise. Am looking forward to viewing Jamie's TV program this Saturday at 10am. Regards, Charlene Nix

By Charlene Nix on June 19, 2012

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If you are speaking of all forms of "kindness" do you also mean "manners"? I find that Mr. Deen lacks a few especially when he refers to Ms. Paula's husband Mr. Michael Groover in the way he refers to him as "Groover"...not Michael or Mike...but a rude "Groover"!! Don't you think he could be a little "kinder" on the TV program or in front of his son? He has called Mr. Groover this more than once in the programs and my family, for one find it incredibly rude and a bad lesson to teach his young son! We are to the point where we don't watch when Mr. Jamie Deen is on the show! He needs to practice what he preaches!!

By J.A. Van on June 19, 2012

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we LOVE Michael.............

By ed on June 13, 2012

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

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Andrea Goto
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Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
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Cindy Edwards
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm