Getting Started

It is recommended that you spend whatever amounts of time you wish among the following four activities:

  • Reading the material under Guidance,,
  • Thinking about your personal development and your progress up to this point in your life in trying to do things that have been beneficial to society or to individual people
  • Planning what you will do next
  • Trying to do what you planned

It may help you to keep “To Do” lists or write your reflections about these activities as you are doing them. There are also Blog posts that provide a reading list of sections of the Guidance and you can write your comments or reflections in response to the posts.

One idea for Doing The Most Good is writing To Do lists and planning to do the most good you can in the next three time periods, such as this week, this month, and after this month.

Doing good may be thought of as adding to other people’s quality of life or helping them to live a full and productive life. A more complete notion of “doing good” is “advancing human well-being and development.”

As said at the beginning of the Guidance section, the terms “human well-being” and “human development” mean the well-being and the development of individuals and also the well-being and development of human beings generically, as groups, organizations, communities, etc. and as humanity generally. The advancement of human well-being and the advancement of human development can be brought about by human effort with the guidance of well thought-out ideas and the building up of mutual trust.

Advancing human well-being is an inherently appealing goal, one that should motivate all rational and psychologically healthy people, although many of us have become cynical or disillusioned about the possibility of success. One of the aims of this website is to help people overcome this disillusionment and provide reason for hope and confidence.

There are of course many different ideas about what constitutes human well-being just as there are many different philosophical notions about what constitutes a good life. There is no attempt here to set forth a doctrine about the nature of human well-being. Rather we are proposing to “let all the flowers bloom,” that is, to allow different cultures and groups pursue their own values but to also work to promote peace and mutual understanding.

Regarding human development there are two observations to be made that are of fundamental importance. First, we as individuals and also we as groups, communities, and organizations of all kinds need to remain aware and mindful of the fact that we are changing day by day, month by month, and year by year as the result of external events and our responses to those events: our own  our own conscious and unconscious processing of information, our emotional reactions and the actions we take. Our beliefs, our likes and dislikes, our patterns of behavior may become more deeply ingrained or may shift radically. Our competencies and our abilities to take responsibility for our actions may increase or decrease. What becomes of us depends on what we do to give direction to our lives.

Second, we need to take responsibility for our own development. Others can support and help us. We can benefit greatly from being part of a mutually supportive and mutually concerned network of friends and coworkers. But the first responsibility is with us. We must be captains of our own ships.

Accordingly, human development can be advanced by a conscious and deliberate effort to reach and each group, organization or community must be mindful of and take responsibility for his/her/its own development. All individuals and all groups are “social” and exist in a social environment which can be supportive and concerned.

As explained more fully in sections under Guidance the desire to “do good” can be strengthened by being:

  • Attracted to the appeal of advancing human well-being and human development
  • Motivated by a desire for achieving worthwhile goals rather than a desire for self-glorification or personal gain
  • Inspired by the willingness of many to demonstrate respect, empathy, concern and readiness to provide for others’ needs
  • Affirmed by enduring personal relationships
  • Drawn by constructive relationships at all levels of society
  • Made more aware of our cultural and spiritual legacies

The next section of AID is


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