How to improve the world
Traffic was one-half inch shy of complete gridlock. The rain had wreaked havoc on my commute, and I was going to be at least 30 minutes late getting home. I couldn't have been more annoyed.
So annoyed, in fact, that I started talking to myself (and by "myself" I mean all of the cars around me).
"Speed up!" "Oh please, please move over!""Get Out of My Way!!"
I remember thinking, "why is the whole world in my way??!"
The crawl was so slow, I eventually lost the energy necessary to maintain my anger. In fact, I had enough time to see how I had turned crazy in the space of an hour and a half. I also realized I had spent the day entirely consumed with meeting my needs.
Was I getting what I wanted from my kids? colleagues? friends? Were my expectations being met by strangers and friends alike? How could ______(fill in the blank) benefit me? Why do traffic patterns conspire against me?
I - MY - ME - I couldn't recall any significant departure from the habit of evaluating everything from this self-involved lens. No wonder I was grumpy.
Self-centeredness is never ultimately satisfying.
My life will not be measured by what I keep, but by what I give away, by how well I serve others.
On traffic jam day, I wasn't measuring up. Sure, I believe in helping others, in making the world a better place, but what had I DONE to act upon my beliefs?
Ultimately, that's the rub. What do I DO with my beliefs?
If I want the world to be better today, it's not enough to just HOPE, to have an idea in my head - I need to act. I need to choose patience. I need to encourage. I need to set aside "me first" and think "you first."
I need to DO stuff. We all need to DO stuff.
What will you DO today?