Reflecting on 30 Years: Do the Right Thing

This post was definitely the most difficult to write of my week long series leading up to my 30th birthday. Looking back on my time on this planet, I’ve uncovered the 4 things that I am most passionate about — the things that get me out of bed early and keep me up late at night. The first two “Continuous Improvement" and "Always Be Learning" are grouped together in the personal development and growth category and the next two "Do the Right Thing" and "Make the World Better" fall into the contribution category — giving back to society and being a part of something bigger than myself.

There probably aren’t very many people on this planet who wake up and say, “I’m going to do the wrong thing today.” For the most part, people really just don’t pay attention or they just don’t care.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

I think this quote that has been around forever is so accurate of today’s society that it literally scares me. People for the most part have become completely desensitized and oblivious to the world around them. They take the approach, “I’ve got my own problems. I can’t be bothered by the world around me or by your problems.”

Here’s the perfect example that happened just this week. I was walking on the sidewalk, a person on a bike hit some giant pothole, went flying over the handle bars, the bike when flying and hit a parked cab. The cabbie was standing on the sidewalk drinking coffee when this happened, walked over, inspected his cab for damages and then walked away. Meanwhile, the biker is laying on the ground still trying to figure out what happened. I can’t make this up. The cabbie was only concerned if there was any damage to the cab. Not that this person could be seriously injured. Insane!!!

Maybe that seems like an extreme example, but shit like that happens all the time. It doesn’t even have to be anything nearly as major as that. It could be as simple standing in the elevator with your headphones on and a blank look as someone tries to grab the elevator door as it’s closing. Instead of lifting your arm 6 inches and have it take an extra 15 seconds for you to get to your floor, you just pretend you didn’t see anything.

If you really pay attention to this stuff, you will see at least 10 examples of this lack of humanity on a daily basis. I promise you. And once you are aware, there’s no going back. You’ll see it everywhere, all the time.

Then the question becomes — will you do nothing or will you try to do the right thing?

For me, the answer is crystal clear. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. Sometimes I do nothing when I should act, but I quickly become aware of my lack of action. It bothers me, and makes me more prepared for the next time.

This is definitely a “be the change you want to see in the world” type of philosophy for me. Maybe I’m just a crazy optimist in this regards, but then again, maybe I can pull of some Fake Grimlock math and win…