It is a New Year.
And with that comes the talk of resolutions. For most people it is the usual…“oh, this year I wish I could lose weight, make money, while I sleep”…or something along those lines.
So this year I have decided that instead of the tired old cliche resolutions…that are mostly engineered to benefit ourselves. Ourselves. And pretty much only Ourselves.
What would happen if we flip our thinking completely around.
New Year’s Resolutions to benefit others instead of ourselves. What a wonderful place this could be?
How about resolving to dedicate time to a charity. And give back. Promise to wake up every morning and do one nice thing for your husband everyday. Or your kids. Call your mom. Pay a friend back. Be selfless. For a change.
Or how about standing & opening a door for someone…instead of letting just slide shut? A smile for some random stranger who looks like they could really use it. A push for someone who’s car broke down in the middle of the road, instead of driving right by.
Giving. Helping. Being a good neighbor. A good friend. Even when it is not really the most convenient time. Even when there is nothing in it for you. Practice being selfless in this sea of selfishness we live in. That we seem to be awash in.
You may ask why. Why this big epiphany? Why bother?
A common theme had seeped onto my radar last year. I felt that “me, me, me-ness” is reaching a whole new level in our society. And is becoming the norm.
Like when I fell off my bike this summer because a car stopped short in front of me…
As I lay with my shoulder and knee bleeding on the side of the bike path, trying to untangle myself from my bike…no less than 20 other bikers cruised by me. Not one person even asked if I was ok. Not one. Four grown men stood putting their sufboards into their car across the road while I struggled to put the bike chain back on.
I felt sick to my stomach. Not because I had torn up my shoulder and knee…(two weeks before my wedding..and my future mother-in-law was going to wrap me in bubble wrap). Not because I was covered with blood & grease because I had no idea how to put my bicycle chain back on.
I was sick to my stomach due to the lack of humanity. I thought to myself…”are we really so disconnected as a society that we have ceased to notice anything that does not involve us”. It scared me. A lot.
Or, more recently on a tiny commuter flight to Chicago where you have to gate check your carry-on bag because the plane cannot accommodate overhead bags.
As all of us stood on the jet way ramp waiting for our bags, the two gate attendents where talking about how they had been unemployed for so long. How much they got for unemployment. How they should have got more for longer etc….Well, you get the drift.
This went on for five minutes before the gate rolled up and the carry on luggage arrived on a cart. Three rows high. Two suitcases deep on each row.
The two gate attendants responsible for dispersing the luggage rolled up the gate, stepped to the side and announced “get your bags”…and continued their in depth conversation about unemployment, instead of doing their actual jobs.
So a few people wandered up, eventually managed to fish out their luggage and left. There was a long line of people. An elderly lady was next.
She was no less than 75, small as a bird & frail. She walked up and I heard her say…”oh dear, mine is way up there in the back”. She can barely reach the top …much less take all the luggage out of the way to get to hers. But she begins to try.
It is clear that she has neither the height nor the strength to do this. And that it most likely is going to fall on her head when she tries.
EVERYONE can see this. Not just me. Well, everyone except the two airline employees that are still engrossed in their fascinating conversation and neglecting their jobs.
I look around. There are 20 people standing there. At least 8 grown men. All of which are closer than me to her. Watching. All doing nothing. Two airline employees. Doing nothing.
I get that same sick feeling in my stomach. Like I just lost hope in all humanity.
I throw my bags on the floor. I walk over and grab the luggage that is now hovering over her head and I put it down and fish hers out of the top back. As I am doing this I say “this is ridiculous…you should all be ashamed of yourselves….grown men watching an elderly lady wrestle with her bags. And you two…(airline employees) …no wonder you were unemployed. Not shocking.”.
The elderly lady thanks me profusely. The grown men turn 20 shades of red. And the airline employees never noticed.
So there you have it.
My New Year’s Resolution.
Be better. Be aware of something or someone other than yourself.
Be more human.