10 Good Deeds You Can Do without (Almost) Killing a Turtle

A sea turtle, nicknamed Omsin (piggy bank), recently underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove 915 coins weighing about 5kg from her stomach. How did these coins find their way into Nong Omsin's stomach in the first place, I hear you ask? Well, apparently people dropped coins into the well this turtle lived in, believing they were "making merit" and would get lucky. This just shows how reckless people can be when it comes to what they perceive to be a "good deed". How on earth is practically feeding a turtle with indigestible pieces of metal considered to be a good or even sound action?

This Omsin episode got me thinking about the many good deeds you can do to get closer to Nirvana that also won't accidentally harm anyone. Here are 10 everyday ways you can do good.

1. When you're about to go into your office building and you notice someone's running after you with both hands occupied, kindly hold the door and let the person go in first.

2. Refrain from using hateful speech while commenting on Facebook or Instagram. If you really want to say something negative, maybe turn it into a joke or soften it with a cute emoji.

3. Okay, this will sound really old-fashioned. If you are aboard a BMTA bus, the BTS or the MRT and you see someone else who is more deserving of a seat than you, offer it to them.

4. If your taxi driver told you to get in without asking where you want to go and the ride was pleasant, maybe let him keep the B3 or B5 change.

5. Say thank you to MK waiters who offer you a tea refill before you even ask for one.

6. If you're already in an elevator and you see a person is rushing to get into it, don't be an a-hole and press close. Press the button to hold the door open for them, duh. If you want to be extra nice, ask which floor they want to go to and press the button for them too.

7. Until the Mangmoom cards (which can be used to pay your fare for both the BTS and MRT) are put into use in June, you should have the right card ready when you're about to reach the turnstiles. Your fumbling to find the right card can cause a line of frustrated people behind you and possibly result in someone being late for work too.

8. Don't be snooping on what people are looking at on their smartphones while you're stuck in a BTS or MRT train with them. Also let the ongoing passengers get off first before you try to get in.

9. Stop greeting people with comments about changes in their weight or complexion.

10. Think very hard before you decide to release animals in captivity as a way to make merit. At best, this is dubious. At worst, you end up being the bad guy. Sure, you feel good releasing those caged birds. But how the heck did they end up caged in the first place? Are you being an accomplice to a basically not-so-ethical business model which exploits your kindness? If you really, really want to release captive animals, at least make sure that you set them free at proper habitats where they can continue to live. Just how long do you think a group of small fish will survive after you release them into the Chao Phraya River where bigger fish await them?

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