“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
Used to be a time when the phrase, ‘just being neighborly’ was the norm. It was believed that it took a village to raise a child, but these days of selfishness and disrespect make even the idea of being civil to another human, foreign. I do not subscribe to the notion that people are basically good. Rather I believe people are largely motivated to do good or bad, right or wrong based on their own motives.
Why do we do good? Maybe doing good makes us feel good inside. It gives us a sense of pride or perhaps just a ‘good feeling’ inside. Is that so wrong? No. People do wrong for the same reasons. It makes them feel good. In a society that no longer teaches their children to respect others and as important, themselves; what else would one expect? Most of what we do through life is self-ish. From eating, to bathing, to making friends.
We have friends because of our own need to be not alone. Again, nothing is wrong with that. However, I think the time has come again to do for others the same we would want done for us. Actually it is long overdue. Terms like random acts of kindness or paying it forward only have a place in our vocabulary because we have forgotten to do what is right in the first place.
In today’s economy especially, we should be automatically looking after others in need even if our own need is great. Whether you believe in reaping what you sow or karma, things do have a way of coming full circle. If you do right, right comes back to you.
I am not chastising anyone. The storms that come into our lives can change our course even without us realizing it. It’s not until the end of our journey that we have realized we reached the wrong destination. Additionally, most people don’t announce to the world that they have a need or problem that needs to be met. How can we help someone not asking for it?
Hey, what about doing something for someone, just because? Just because at this time in your life, you can. Save worrying about tomorrow for tomorrow.
Just a few examples:
1. You are at home. You’re feeling lonely. Instead of sitting in front of the television watching the same On Demand show for the third time, make a pot of coffee, grab the donuts and visit the widow down the street feeling lonely too. Even if she’s not lonely, she’d welcome the company and you aren’t lonely anymore either.
2. Male or female, hold the door open for someone. Regardless of their gender holding the door open for another person is just basic courtesy. It’s a small thing to you but it might mean a world of difference to that person.
3. Finally, practice controlling you speech. Your tongue is a weapon and people use it everyday to hurt and even kill others. Since we have no idea what the words coming out of our mouth will affect the person they are directed at, we should always be cognizant of our speech. We can never take back the words we say. Once they are out they are there in the persons mind forever and no apology in the world can make somebody forget the pain your words may have caused them. Consider a cruise ship or an aircraft carrier. Very large ships. Humongous vessels yet the are controlled by a very small rudder. Your tongue is your rudder. Steer clear of hurtful words and speak positively.
One more thing. If a family member needs to borrow some money from you and you are in the financial position to help. Don’t let them borrow it. If they are family just do the right thing and give it to them. No strings attached. If they can pay you back they will. If not, forget about it. Friendships are a different story. Unless you are a bank or you are Bill Gates, I would definitely make it a loan. This again, like this article is just Tom’s opinion.
…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.