Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Fallacy of "Should"

     Today I did a few things that I "shouldn't" have to do, which led to some interesting thoughts.  Here's what happened:
     I went out to do a few errands this afternoon, including dropping something off for a neighbor and then doing some grocery shopping.  As I got out of my car at the neighbor's house, I noticed an empty cigarette pack laying in the middle of the street.  I picked it up and saved it to throw into a trash can later.
     When I got to the grocery store, I also noticed various pieces of trash in the parking lot.  I suppose in the past I might have left them for someone else to pick up, perhaps even the infamous "they"; but these days, I'm more conscious than ever before to do whatever I can to help, so I picked up the trash and threw it out.  After I was done shopping and loading my groceries into my car, I returned my cart to one of the holding areas.  It was a very windy day so it was particularly important to return all carts lest they blow around and bang into cars.  I noticed several carts that hadn't been returned so I went ahead and took care of them.
     As I got back into my car I was thinking about the tendency to say that I shouldn't have to do these things.  People should throw away their own trash and they should return their carts to the proper place.  It's easy to get up on our soapbox about what others should do and what I shouldn't have to do for them.  Though I might be correct about it all, do these thoughts really get me anything?  It doesn't change anything and only leads to aggravation and negativity.  It's far better to simply smile, have a positive attitude, and do whatever I can to make our shared world a little better place.

1 comment:

  1. Trash is one of those things that seems to show up right across the property line. Then it becomes someone else's responsibility. As you say, *they* 'should' do it.

    Once it's been determined to be someone else's responsibility, we start to ignore it and pretty soon we don't even see it. The trash just gets uglier.

    It makes me happy to hear that you saw that cigarette pack and didn't think 'someone else should take care of it'. We're all in this together.

    And kudos to you for keeping up your kindness challenge!!