Every day, we make choices that will affect the rest of our day. Hundreds of choices, ranging from insignificant to important; we make these decisions constantly. However, when we make these decisions, particularly without thinking beforehand, our actions can not only affect ourselves, but those around us.
Being a good person is a complicated concept. Your idea of being “good” can conflict with another person’s opinion, whether being “good” means being ethical, moral, lawful, or socially accepting. These conceptions of being a good person have been argued for centuries and might never have been agreed upon. However, the little decisions we make every day, and how they directly affect others, can dictate how good our character is. When we go about our day and react in certain ways or behave in certain ways to others, we must think of how our actions will affect others. While this is a simple concept, it is an easy one to forget or disregard sometimes. However, by taking the time to think about whether our actions are hurting others, we can stop ourselves, change our behavior, and hopefully become better people in the process.
Obviously, there are decisions we make where the outcome and how it will affect others is clearer. If I say something rude to the drycleaner or yell at somebody on the street, I’m sure that everyone understands how my actions are affecting others. Most of us wouldn’t do those things, out of pure politeness and social etiquette if anything. But the tiny, almost insignificant decisions we make every day may have more power to hurt others than first thought.
For example, when I was younger, I would go grocery shopping and pick up something from the shelf. Later, in a different aisle, I realized I no longer needed that item. Instead of walking all the way back to the item’s original aisle, I would just put it back on whatever shelf was closer to me. Back then, if you asked me why I did that, I would have probably said, “it’s just easier”, or “I don’t have the time”, or perhaps, “it’s the worker’s job to put it back anyway”. While these things may be true, it’s simply not an ethical way to act. While it is somebody’s job to clean up the shelves, I would be helping the stock clerk, even just a little bit, by not being lazy and putting the item back where it belonged. Expecting others to clean up after you, even if it is their job, can affect somebody’s day negatively.
Now, I am no longer an inconsiderate teenager, and I think about being a better person to others every single day. One of the things I do through my church is help at the church’s food bank. Because of the coronavirus, the number of people that come to the food bank every day has tripled. Sometimes, I see the long line of cars slowly driving up the door/window and my heart sinks, because I know that one day we will run out of food. Many of them have never been to a food bank before and some of them even tell us how ashamed they feel for having to come to a food bank. My goal is to make sure every single one of them drives away feeling better about themselves; and even thought we are not supposed to, I sometimes give them a hug, just to make sure that they have a better day. I know of people who have children and can’t leave their children home alone, or people who don’t drive or don’t have a car; so I drag my husband with me, and we drop off food to their house after hours. I feel like this is what being a good neighbor is all about.
While it may seem trivial, by keeping others in mind before we act, we might improve someone’s day. When we have garbage, we find a trash can, instead of throwing it on the ground. When our order takes a little longer at a restaurant; we remain calm and understanding, instead of screaming at an innocent waiter. When someone in our community has nothing to eat, we bring them food. To be a better person means to sometimes inconvenience yourself to help others and to help improve their day. You will realize this, especially when you receive kindness from someone else that could make your day better.
1 : Every day we make choices without thinking about the effects on others.
2 : Be a good person and think about how your actions will affect others.
3 : Every day, make it your mission to improve at least one person’s day.Category: the Self/Self-Improvement / Subcategory: But the fruit of the Spirit is love…kindness...
Tags: choices, actions, being good, better person, decisions, ethical, moral, lawful, social responsibility, character, community, neighbor