Originally posted on Facebook HERE
I do what I can. I’ve set my life up in a way that I do what I can to create happiness for myself, and have a positive effect on the lives of others every single day whenever possible. But am I doing ALL I can?… that’s a tough call. There’s always give and take. If we really wanted to do all we could – and I mean ALL we could – to make ourselves and the world a better place, well – that’s a daunting task. Doesn’t making the world a better place have to start somewhere? I think the first thing we have to do is establish love for ourselves as individuals. You can’t bring much joy into the world with a black heart full of hatred and retribution. That probably also where the toughest work is to be done. It’s pretty easy to see someone struggling to get a door open while carrying groceries, for example – and want to go lend a hand, right? But how do we handle the internal struggles we all face? What is our decision making process like? Are we being kind to ourselves? Are we driven by external motivations, or by the things that will bring us more peace and happiness? These aren’t always easy decisions to make, because sometimes we’re so focused on whatever our goals are – to make more money, to be number one, to get that promotion, etc – that we don’t step back to see if any of that will bring us happiness in the end. And, really – happiness isn’t even the goal as much as – will it make us happier right now, in this moment (which is really the only time we can ever control)? Knowing ourselves well enough to know what choices will lead to happier, more fulfilling lives is step number one, and it’s a lifelong step because it changes as we age, too. And running concurrent with that is… how do we interact with other people? How do other people see us? How would you like to be remembered by your friends, family and coworkers when you pass? We all have people we know who – no matter who you ask – the overwhelming general consensus will be “what a great person. Such a nice guy/woman”, right? Why is that? What is it about people like that that makes them uniformly liked? I’m sure we could all name a few who fall into the opposite category, too, right? “He’s terrible to deal with, what a jerk”. I think it might have something to do with kindness. Are we being kind? Are we even being kind with ourselves first? I have a tendency to not cut myself much slack. I’m not sure that’s being kind with myself. I have a tendency to be quick to anger, too. That’s not really being kind to others, either. I’m going to try to catch myself when I’m having trouble letting something go, or before I respond in anger, and ask first, “am I being kind?”, and try as often as possible to do the kind thing from now on. I’m reading a book right now that says that simple question can change your life. It’s very good, click here to check it out. Just think of how all our lives would change if the entire world based our lives on being kind. The entire world can only change one person at a time, though – and so, the way to do our part is to live that philosophy in our own lives and extend it to others in everything we do. Be kind today.