The Good

Philip A Farruggio

You always hear that ‘ Everyone has a little good in them’. Well, take Hitler. It is known that he really enjoyed little children and dogs. The truth is that they had to be German Shepherd dogs and the children couldn’t be Jewish. So much for that. The point is that yes, perhaps everyone does have a bit of good in them. To this writer it is those who walk amongst us, the too few of us who are really good souls.

How many times had I been to the nursing home where my parents resided that I ran into an aide or even a certain nurse who really cared that much: The aide who came in to give my Mom and Dad a shower, help them on and off the toilet, cleaning their rear end in the process. Or the hospice lady who would come to visit my Dad after my Mom passed, when he was ready for the reaper. She did not know my father; only met him a month earlier… yet she showed such concern and tenderness.

When I moved into my own apartment, after my divorce many years ago, my next door neighbor was this 80 something man with a wife and a Down’s syndrome daughter. Dominick was known on our street as the guy who took in our garbage and recycle bins if still out there by late morning.

When it snowed Dominick would help shovel the walks of the few elderly and infirmed neighbors. He had lots on his plate, especially after the daughter passed away and his wife would spend hours in her kitchen talking in Italian to the girl. On Sundays you could see him at Mass as an usher. So good a man!

Michael is a late 60s retired schoolteacher with a Ph D in Sociology. Never married, as he, by choice or design, missed out on meeting that someone special.

Looking back, it would be the woman’s loss for not hooking up with a man as special as he. For all the years this writer has known him, and that is going on 50, Michael was as good a friend as anyone could ever ask for. Loans to many who were in need at the time was just the way he had always been. Giving rides to friends who had no car was just another notch in that giant plaque of compassion created for him.

When his parents moved 80 miles away, Michael made sure to visit them each and every week. As they both slipped into the usual stumbling path towards their eventual final end, Michael takes care of their finances and … drives out there for at least four days a week to live with them.

His parents were lucky that they had saved enough to warrant an insurance plan which gave them 24/7 attention by an aide. Yet, Michael took no chances on them being unfulfilled in their needs.

For the few years he has been so attentive hIs actions keep them from the dreaded nursing home, where Covid is no stranger… along with the Grim one. What a guy!

Sadly, we cannot say such accolades for those who run our corporate world or our government. I am speaking of the leaders, the CEOs and the politicos, mostly super rich people who can give away 1/10th of their wealth to the poor and thus consider themselves ‘Good ‘. Good for what? They pay out to Uncle Sam in taxes far less than their counterparts paid in years past. When JFK entered the oval office the top rate was at 90%. After Reagan trashed our income tax system the top rates for the super rich kept sliding… down to what, 37%? How much wealth do people need?

The nursing home aides along with Dominick and Michael never considered how much they were worth in order to do good. No, they all saw beyond the illusions created by this current ‘Everyone for themselves Capitalism on Steroids’.

They did and they do good for the sake of, well, doing good!

Philip can be reached at