Make it your goal to improve others’ lives

Photo by Madeline McInnis

Looking around at commercials, advertisements and simple communications of everyday life, we often forget that we are more than individuals living in-depth lives. 

While each of us explores our own elaborate story, we are simultaneously constructing new pathways to understand truth. 

Humanity is constructed of many individuals, all searching for meaning in our day to day lives. The task now becomes, how do we root out these truths?

Nothing is more important than a good community. With it comes responsibility.

To illustrate this, imagine yourself as someone who goes for coffee each morning. You wait in line, noting the absent minded, downward facing frowns that swipe and flick through phones, waiting for their task of “get coffee” to be complete. 

Suppose you take a moment to ask the barista’s name, and how her day is. You speak for only a few moments, and it’s pleasant. You smile, and go about your day. 

Putting yourself aside now, imagine the barista. She remembers how a stranger (you) made her day, the day she lives on repeat every day as a barista. 

She goes home, and instead of complaining to her boyfriend about a rude customer, your kindness is what she remembers. In this good mood, she and her boyfriend share a lovely evening. 

The next morning when he goes into work, instead of frowning down at his phone in the coffee line, he smiles to his barista, asks her name, and how her day is going.

Each person you see will encounter several others. If you improve 1 day, you guarantee improvement for 5 other days that single individual knows, and 5 more for each of them. Your single interaction, without diving deep into the equation, has improved 125 individual lives by a small bit, and it doesn’t stop there.

If you can begin to understand the importance of your actions, you begin to see the small pathways to change your life, and hundreds of others, with the simplest of actions. What will you do today?

This is where responsibility comes in. Imagine being a force of negative energy that somebody brings home or out in the world with them. 

Is that the source you want to be? Or would you rather be a spring of joy and gratitude? You are much more important than you think.

This is the search for truth. What is the best way to communicate? How do we live together? How do we organize ourselves? This is the ancient conversation of humans that we all participate in when we do something as simple as commit to a new habit.

When you are brushing your teeth, you aren’t simply cleaning your mouth. You’re imagining an idealized version of yourself, one that has clean teeth. 

This is the divine you, one that is purer, healthier, better than you in some way, and you’ve organized your internal structure to achieve that state of divinity. 

The act of brushing your teeth is a tradition you uphold with yourself to strive to be a better individual. 

Going for lunch with a friend is a gathering to bond over shared interests, and dancing to music you enjoy is a connection to the greater power beauty has to move us.

We need something to strive for, something that motivates us to be better, to take action, to connect with others. The thoughts you indulge in and actions you perform are, a personal religion, in simplest form. 

This is not to say one has to be “religious” to find value, but we need a sense of spirituality, a sense of commitment to the people we are not but could become in the future if we just tried our best to a little better than we did yesterday.

What are you motivated by? It is wise to understand what moves you, not simply to understand what moves others, but to tap into the wealth of knowledge and beauty waiting for you to utilize.

If you can begin to understand the importance of your actions, you begin to see the small pathways to change your life, and hundreds of others, with the simplest of actions. What will you do today?

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