Have you ever wondered if what you do makes a difference? I mean, do you reach the end of the day and say, "What did I really accomplish today? Did I make the world a better place?"
That sounds like the beginning to a stupid infomercial. "Well, wonder no longer, because the new ego-stroker will make you feel good about your worthless lives no matter how pathetic you are."
Okay, so this isn't meant to be a depressing post. It's just a reflection.
Theoretically, we are supposed to acknowledge that every smile and random act of kindness we bestow on the world will make some kind of positive difference. Now, I believe this. I really do. But sometimes, when I look at that huge world around me and think of the billions of people that inhabit the planet, I think, wow. What I do is so much a drop in the bucket, it's practically not even wet.
Please don't get me wrong. It's not an ego stroke I am seeking. I am not one of those who needs a pat on the back because I let the guy behind me go first in line. What I am trying to say is, did that act on my part make a difference in the long run?
Maybe it did to him. Maybe he was in a rush to get home to his infant daughter and sick wife. Maybe he needed to get to work which is, let's face it, a bit of a commodity these days. Maybe he was just more tired than I was and really appreciated saving that extra minute.
Or maybe it wouldn't have mattered one way or another.
We never know what our actions will mean to someone else, and I think that's really what kind of annoys me. I like to think I am doing positive things, and generally I like to think what I am doing is making people happy. But how can we be sure? I mean, what if we are actually doing more harm than good and we don't know it? Hel-lo! A little road map here would be greatly appreciated.
But okay, so maybe all this makes me some schmucko people-pleaser. Well, so be it. I won't be a jerk to please people, and I won't go against my own value system, and I won't neglect the more important things just so I can make someone else happy. I'm not a kiss-but. So in my mind, that's fine. But I will go out of my way to a certain extent because I like people to be happy. When people around me are happy, I am happy. So you see, it's a kind of selfishness on my part, really.
I also like people to be good, however, and I realize you can't make someone good by making them happy.
Which is a good thing.
Because I have a hard enough time making myself good.