Instead of seeing something and thinking I wonder if someone is doing something abut X situation, take it upon yourself and do something about it. So be a doer instead of a thinker.
How recently have you thought, or said, “Someone ought to do something about that”? If you’re like me, it hasn’t been all that long, and you’re probably a little embarrassed about that.
We all see needs when we look around. We drive past a pothole and think “someone ought to call the city about that.” We go to our children’s school, see kids in ragged clothes, and think, “someone ought to give their parents some money, or some outgrown clothes.” These are just two examples, one fairly trivial and one very much not trivial, of the many needs we see every day, if we’re paying attention.
It’s not that we’re bad people, for not realizing that we could and should take action on some of these things we see that someone should do. It’s not even that we’re selfish or don’t want to do what we know we should. Some people may be selfish, but most of us, I think are just clueless.
We see a need, but we don’t even think about taking action on it, because we’re so focused on everything else we need to do. We’re not selfish, in the sense of not caring about anyone but ourselves. But we’re self-focused, maybe to the point of being self-centered. We’re certainly not paying enough attention to our responsibility to take action to make ourselves and our world better.
I take this responsibility very seriously, and I believe most people do, as well. We’re put here on earth to help each other. Sure, we need to take care of ourselves as best we can, but if no one ever helped anyone else, or took care of anything that was even remotely out of their immediate circle of interest, wouldn’t life be pretty horrible?
I’m not by any means suggesting that you should take on the responsibility for everything that happens in the world, or that you need to be Don Quixote, tilting at windmills. Some things are not your responsibility, and sometimes you run into something you can’t fix, no matter how hard you try, for reasons beyond your control.
What I’m suggesting is that we all wake up to our role as members of the human race and our responsibility to do anything we can to move the human race forward. If that means picking up a fallen tube of toothpaste in the grocery store, because someone else knocked it off and left it, do that. If it means going to the thrift store and buying some clothes for those kids, get in your car and go. If it means calling in a pothole or a wandering, obviously stray animal, do it. Take care of the people in your neighborhood.
Will they take care of you in return? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not why you’re doing it. There’s a saying in recovery programs that you should “take care of your side of the street.” Especially if it’s got a pothole in it.
Thanks to Widow’s Quest for including this post in the Carnival of Positive Thinking, and to Positive and Successful Lifestyle Tips for featuring this post in the Carnival of Inspiration and Motivation.