This is not to suggest that you should not exercise caution and use common sense when making decisions. There is a difference between being brave and being reckless. I am also not implying that you will never be afraid. However, when fear goes unchecked, growth and progress stalls. Life Is Not Complicated: Fearless
I love a good debate. I think intelligent, lively (sometimes heated) exchanges of ideas and philosophies really get you inside the mind of John Q. Public and to some extent, offer a glimpse into what motivates people’s actions and thought processes. Following some of my most intense discussions I concluded that some people talk a good game, but when it comes time to play, they would rather sit on the sidelines. They can go on and on about what’s wrong with society, however when asked to do something- anything- to change the status quo, the fluid flow of “they should do this or that” turns into a stutter of “I would if I could” (which I take to mean, “If I cared”).
Truth of the matter is, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. A lot of situations require careful, thoughtful consideration…but I can assure you, doing the right thing is not one of them. That is a no-brainer. Nothing should stand in the way of your being a good person. As I discuss in Fearless, every time you stand up for something you believe in, lock horns with confrontation, stand toe to toe with adversity, you set aside fear and claim your life back from the destructive hold of a self-imposed dread. And as with all things, I practice what I preach. So, when one of my good friends and I literally stumbled across an opportunity to do the right thing, we sprang into action. I will not go into a long, drawn out explanation of our experience. The video tells the whole story. I will say, when we stumbled upon this little one, and realized she was in distress (and clearly in a very precarious position), there was no time to be scared. We did not have some long strategy session, or debate which one of us would try to retrieve her. Since he is an avid dog-lover and so much more familiar with relating to pets, his instincts kicked right in. The level of compassion, love and caring my Big Bro displayed nearly moved me to tears (I said nearly for those of you who may want to jokingly use this against me!). But I am not ashamed to admit I was moved by how this man (who I have respected since I met him) put another life ahead of his own, just because. Since it all happened so fast, I know he was not trying to become a hero or some Youtube sensation. You can’t script humanity. And as I offered him encouragement and secured the scene to make sure our surroundings did not become any more dangerous, the last thing I was thinking was “Look at us, we are doing the right thing”. You can’t script taking responsibility for another living thing. We just wanted her to be ok. And when he finally calmed her enough to retrieve her from the tracks, we set out to get her cleaned, fed and found her a home. We had been at work for hours. Tired, hungry, and ready to go home. And from the moment we locked eyes with our new little friend, none of that mattered. And we are both (Well all three of us are) the better for it.
I share this video and the experience to remind you, instead of talking about how much is wrong with the world, how the government has failed us, how our neighbors are anti-social, how mankind has become so cold, callous and selfish, become the change in the status quo. We spend so much time thinking and talking about what is wrong with society, yet when presented with opportunities to make a profound difference we immediately turn away or shrug it off; we dismiss our responsibility to do the right thing with excuses like “Not my problem” or “I’m too busy”. Meantime, it took less than 2 minutes for a simple, compassionate, humane act of kindness to literally save a precious life. Less than 2 minutes. No one is that busy.
God has a way of reminding people, it is not always about you. If we take a little more time to recognize it is sometimes better to be selfless than selfish, we could start changing our lives (and the world) for the better, one kindness at a time.
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have”. Margaret Mead