I’m a good person. How many times have we heard this exclamation from family members or friends? How often do we think about this for ourselves? Everyone, well most of us I think, wnt to believe, to think, that whatever actions we take, are for the good. Not necessarily for humanity (although I’ve met those), but just for their immediate circle of family or friends. I’ve thought this about myself at times, but I wonder, what was my motivation for thinking this? It may be that I did something that I would never have considered in my past; even though the result was good, was that my motivation?
Sometimes, we are in a situation where, without thinking, we perform acts of compassion, even heroism. Think about it. Being on a highway and witnessing an awful accident. Do you get out of your car and try and render assistance, aid, to possibly save lives or do you just dial emergency services and go on your way? Most of us would probably say we would try and give aid. In most states, however, performing aid, without a medical license of any kind (Doctor, Nurse, EMT) may, if the person(s) being aided die, would result in a charge on Manslaughter. That’s right. Not having any expertise in life-saving in many states is illegal. So we leave those people, that we may be able to help, to die before assistance can arrive. Does that make sense?
Of course, that’s an extreme example, something that a majority of people will never experience. What about those decisions made that may harm someone personally or professionally? How about a family member, like a child? When we make a decision that may hurt another who are we really considering? Most people I know would say that they are thinking about what’s best for the company, their social circle or their family. Is that true? Who are we really thinking about? In who’s best interest is this? I tend to believe in many cases, that each of us are looking out for ourselves.
No one gets up in the morning and asks themselves, how can I make myself look good to the detriment of others. Okay, maybe there are a few people like that. In fact, I am sure I know at least one. that’s not what most people do, with any regularity anyway (notice what i did there?). We all look out for our own interests first. Anyone that denies that, well, in my opinion, doesn’t have a grasp on the human condition (reality).
All of us, everyday, have the opportunity to do good for someone; Maybe for more than just one person. That person doesn’t have to be a stranger. I try to do something good for my daughter everyday. I try, when I go to the store every week, to show respect for not only the other customers, but those that work there as well. It’s become instinct for me. Laugh at a silly joke (well, it is funny), open a door for someone, help another that needs help loading groceries in their car.
Little things, that I never consider. Little things, from a time, when I was a child, were common which no longer seem to be that way. Does any of that make me a good person?
No, but if I think about it, it makes me human.