To the woman yesterday who showed the most basic level of decency and integrity for a small indiscretion, Bravo! You’ll get a lot out of this story, it’s a brief one, yet at the same time we uncover a question worth asking and a viewpoint worth hearing. Why do some people exist in a higher ‘humanity’ state than others? A state centered around a single word–care.
The Story: A wind swept through the parking lot in front of the spin yoga studio I lovingly rely on. Soon after a woman dashed through asking if anyone owned a grey Civic. After she confirmed that no one did she launched out the door proceeding to go into the next two shops down the strip. After about ten minutes she emerged a bit flustered but ready to get her exercise on.
Sandra explained her success in finding the person she was looking for along with the circumstances that triggered her efforts. When the gust occurred her car door had inadvertently ripped out of her hand hitting the now infamous grey Civic. Interestingly enough the mark left on the other car was the only size of a finger nail clipping. Needless to say the other woman was very thankful that she was tracked and asked for nothing in return for the knick.
Why did this strong showing of care strike me as a worthy discussion? I happen to have a diametrically opposed tale that illustrates an equally unbelievable lack of care. I was sitting at my daughter’s soccer field (like I do four long evenings each week) when a car pulls up a little too close for comfort. Sure enough the driver opens her door flippantly nailing my innocent auto not only leaving a two inch dent but also taking off a good chunk of paint. Now my car isn’t a prize but I stay up with its upkeep. To my surprise the lady looked right at me closing her door with a smirk and saunters off. I was floored. My belief in basic human good had a dent equal to that of my car.
With minimal effort my assailant could’ve easily knocked on my window, apologized and asked to repair the damage. Yet, she didn’t bother. Felt no need. Frankly, she didn’t care. Which is why I felt inclined to ask Sandra why she worked so diligently to right her wrong. She smiled brightly explaining, “I guess it wasn’t a thought just what should be done. I know I would’ve felt horrible if I hadn’t tried.”
People are so different in their levels of care!
You may be saying, “Well, yeah Shiloh!” The interesting part to me really is thinking about why some choose to do what’s right versus those who choose not to. These people come from two different camps of thinking and therefore living. You are sure to recognize the opposing groups depicted below.
“I’m the Only Person In the World” Syndrome
You run into these people everywhere in big and small ways. Yesterday when grocery shopping they were walking down the center of the aisle expecting the rest of the shoppers to move aside. Last weekend a driver thought the rules of traffic didn’t apply to them when they went up the outside of the lanes to get to their turn off faster. In the worst case scenarios possibly they bully a child, commit rape or take a life.
This self-involved segment of our population believe their existence is more valuable than the rest. From their perspective they were gifted special rights that give them a golden ticket to do whatever they want without consideration. Typically, these people are oblivious to how wrong this pattern is, but because they are the only person in their world (period), they can’t see it and if they can they simply don’t care.
“I’m the Only Person in the World” Syndrome inhabiters are the biggest life sucks that syphon energy from our next group that live in people like Sandra’s camp.
“We are a Village” Thinkers
Right off the batt the key differentiator is a we mentality. These people are part of something larger than themselves that they feel responsible for outside of themselves. They exist within a village where everyone has value. Where their actions affect others. Those actions they take have meaning, which means they care.
Luckily, you’ve also been blessed with these people in your life. So have I. A few days ago I was running from one gate to another to catch an International flight, but had to make a pit stop to grab some aspirin. A woman and her daughter in line in front of me must of noticed my fast pace and felt compassion for me–a stranger. They offered to let me go ahead of them. Just like that, a random act of kindness out of no where for no reason other than they were village thinkers. In a blink of an eye my faith in humanity restored.
Sacrifice, compassion and actions for the greater good make this world a brighter place. They tie us all together. An unbreakable bond of community that can accomplish anything. We must raise them. Become them. Thank them. Expanding our reach to drown out the black holes created by the “I’m the Only Person in the World” league.
Live a Life with Care
We shouldn’t make the mistake of think this is necessarily a conscious choice between good or evil. Being part of either camp happens at multiple levels stemming from foundational values and beliefs to formulated moment by moment decisions. We can as easily fall from grace as rise above to altruism in a flash. Our focus is best spent consciously tuning into ourselves and others then using compassion to lead the way for C.A.R.E.
When you do this, you live a better life infused by the greater good. From the most basic standpoint being a giver surrounded with like-minded individuals that form a community of carers.