DOING THE MOST GOOD is offered as a goal for individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, agencies, governments, and peoples. The effort involves, in each case, trying to make the best and fullest use of one’s abilities. It involves making a conscious effort to develop our capacities and shape our relationships.

It is a way of life that is not primarily aimed at one’s own personal survival or the survival of one’s family, tribe, social group, community or nation.  It also is not aimed at self-glorification or holding power for its own sake.  It is instead aimed at participating in the advancement of human well-being and human development.

Doing the most good involves a continuing process of developing our skills, expanding our knowledge and expending efforts to find and to do what will be of greatest benefit to others.  It involves living a fuller, more productive and more purposeful life – a life more intertwined with the lives of others.

Website Purpose

The purpose of this website is to attract a growing audience to learn about, explore and join efforts to DO GOOD by aiding the development of persons, families, neighborhoods, communities, governmental agencies, single- and multi-level nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and international organizations and institutions.  The first section of the material under GUIDANCE provides an introduction to the idea of Advancing Human Development.

The remainder of the material under GUIDANCE is in the process of being revised.  It will present insights from a variety of sources about Doing Good in the following ways:

  • Aiding persons, families, communities and organizations in self-governance and in “doing the most good” by
    • Living an “examined life”
    • Building a concern for others
    • Forming constructive relationships
    • Overcoming fears and other causes of reduced functionality
    • Avoiding destructiveness
    • Learning to live the fullest, most productive. and most purposeful life possible
  • Peace-building, bridging differences and overcoming barriers related to
    • Socioeconomic status
    • Values and beliefs
    • Cultural backgrounds
    • Age, gender, physical and mental abilities and disabilities
    • Ideology
  • Promoting “Government by discussion” and related approaches to achieving good and responsive governance
  • Forming a “People’s Think Tank” aimed at wider participation and greater independence in
    • Understanding social problems
    • Exploring and evaluating approaches to solving these problems
    • Advocating specific solutions or policies
  • Expanding knowledge about and participation in productive and beneficial kinds of work for individuals including
    • Work as an employee
    • Work as an entrepreneur
    • Being self-employed
    • Work as a friend or helper to persons in need
    • Volunteer work
  • Expanding knowledge about and participating in beneficial work for groups of all kinds

Website Rationale

The hope and expectation is that as people begin to explore the ideas presented on this website they will discover the satisfaction they feel from

  • Expanding and  making more productive use of their abilities
  • Living a more purposeful life
  • Forming deeper and more meaningful relationships
  • Joining cooperative and mutually supportive efforts
  • Enabling others to live better lives
  • Helping to change attitudes throughout society

Participation in Collective Efforts

Persons, families, informal groups, communities and organizations of all kinds can initiate participation in the efforts listed above by completing this contact form and providing whatever comments and whatever information about yourself or your group you care to:

Website Navigation

When you enter this website and navigate within it, the display you see on your screen will have the title DOING THE MOST GOOD: AID AND GUIDANCE at the top with the top internal links INTRODUCTION, TABLE OF CONTENTS, LINKS, and ABOUT THIS WEBSITE in smaller letters below.  In the right sidebar the word ARCHIVES will appear with month and year designations below.  New information is brought into the space to the left of the sidebar whenever you click on an internal link (meaning a link internal to this website which keeps within the website).  This information appears on either “pages” or “posts”.  Pages are produced by clicking on any of the top internal links (INTRODUCTION, etc.) or almost all of the internal links subordinate to the top ones.  Posts (also called “blog posts”) are accessed by clicking on any of the month and year designations under ARCHIVES.  There are a few instances of pages containing links to blog posts and blog posts containing links to pages.

Clicking on LINKS gives access to a set of links to external websites.  Links to external websites can also appear on other pages and on posts.  Most Internet Browsers allow you to return to a previously visited website and, in particular, to return to this one if you leave it.

The titles INTRODUCTION, TABLE OF CONTENTS, LINKS and ABOUT THIS WEBSITE are clickable. Putting your curser on INTRODUCTION provides access to AID and GUIDANCE material. Putting your curser on ABOUT THIS WEBSITE provides access to material about a book Doing the Most Good that was produced in 1992. Clicking on TABLE OF CONTENTS displays a Table of Contents of the main body of this website’s information, divided into AID and GUIDANCE.  Auxiliary information is accessible by clicking on TABLE OF CONTENTS, LINKS or ABOUT THIS WEBSITE.

Blog posts and comments made to them allow for a publicly visible continuing conversation.  Comments made to any page can initiate discussions about what is said on that page.

You are invited to submit comments (at the bottom of the page) to any of the pages, blog posts, and comments submitted by others.

Sources of Ideas Presented on Website

The ideas presented here are drawn primarily from the following:

Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom

Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice

Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge

Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development

Martha Nussbaum, Not For Profit

Severine Deneulin (Ed), An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach

Severine Deneulin with Masooda Bano, Religion in Development: Rewriting the Secular Script

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

Karl W. Deutsch, The Nerves of Government

Tom Kitwood, Concern for Others

John Rawls,   A Theory of Justice (particularly, The Aristotelian Principle)

Preview of GUIDANCE and AID Material

The GUIDANCE material begins with a set of Foundational Ideas:

  • An understanding and perception that “doing good” consists of advancing human development and human well-being:  Human development is here seen as consisting of the development of individual human beings, families, neighborhoods, communities, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, viewed from the present moment onward.  The term “development” has the connotation of being positive and is usually thought of in that way.  The advancing of human development is taken to mean making a deliberate effort to safeguard and nurture development – at all levels from persons of all ages to humanity as a whole — in a well thought-out and visionary way calculated to advance well-being.
  • A proposed goal for individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations to continually try to do the most good possible throughout the remainder of their existence: The intention of the website is to attract a growing community and social movement working to do more good and becoming increasingly dedicated to doing the most good possible.   
  • A confidence that through openness, cooperation and persistent effort and through  our growing individual and collective abilities to do good we will enjoy greater well-being and an increased sense of accomplishment

The GUIDANCE material continues with

  • A description of the approach of the United Nations Development Program and the Human Development and Capabilities Association for advancing human development
  • Noting that lasting satisfaction is gained from benefiting humanity as a whole, countries, communities or individuals
  • An emphasis on the fact that our attitudes, beliefs, likes and dislikes, and patterns of behavior are formed largely by our day by day experiences and especially our personal interactions with those around us
  • The observation that our enjoyment of life, our motivation for doing our best work, and our concern for others come from living and working with people who both inspire us and receive inspiration from us
  • A look at the role that constructive relationships can play as the foundation and sustaining force of peace and justice
  • A discussion of the importance of cultural and religious influences in the lives of many of us and how these influences can be made more beneficial and lead to better intercultural and interreligious relationships

The AID material includes

  • Help in making use of the Guidance outlined above
  • Projects for individuals and groups for doing good and for gaining new experiences and acquiring new skills and knowledge
  • Opportunities to discuss successes and difficulties, formulate best practices, and join with others in finding solutions to specific problems
  • Opportunities to contribute to the overall effort to change our personal lives, our families, the groups, organizations and communities we belong to, and eventually begin to change nations

Final Remarks

There is a permanent “Welcome” post, with links to other permanent posts inviting you to give specific kinds of information in the form of comments.

Click here: to continue.

All pages and posts are copyrighted except where noted to be owned or copyrighted by someone else..

© 2012 Carl Farrington – All rights reserved.


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