What does it mean to “do the right thing?”
Doing the right thing doesn’t have to be a big deal. Try just giving someone a compliment. Or holding a door. Maybe letting someone that you believe doesn’t deserve it cut in front of you in traffic. Or it could simply be paying attention to the kind people in your daily life.
I had a massive cycling crash 3 weeks ago. The trauma of this crash still sits with me in a very uncomfortable way. When I crashed, I went over my handlebars and slid down the road for a while until I stopped. I ultimately broke 5 bones and I also had significant cuts and bruising. After the fall, pure survival instincts kicked in. With my pelvis broken in 2 places, my back broken in 2 places, and a broken thumb, I low crawled with my forearms and left leg to the side of the road immediately so I wouldn’t get hit by a car.
A young girl immediately pulled over and asked if I needed help. I emphatically said, “YES.” She pulled over and 2 or 3 other adults also stopped. 911 was called and my bike was taken out of the road. While all the souls that stopped were extraordinarily kind to me, this one particular young girl sat with me. She talked to me and helped me stay calm. I was a severe mess and in shock. I just needed someone to talk to me about anything and help me stay present and not pass out at least until the ambulance arrived. The pain was so severe, having a conversation kept me stable and present. She had a bike rack in the back of her car and took my bike. She helped me call my husband. Most important she “held space” for me. I so desperately needed someone to be with me. I was so grateful I was not alone. I knew I wasn’t ok. She didn’t tell me any of this nonsense. She was just there. I can’t explain the power in having someone just be present for me in a really rough moment. Overall, this kind soul saved me.
People are innately good. Yes, really bad things happen. But, when push comes to shove those of us that are good people are the majority. We just have to be louder than the haters and those that will do evil. And I think evil can occur with inaction as well as direct actions.
When you see something, please step in. Do not assume that someone else will help. Do not assume that someone else will do the right thing. Step forward. It all matters, big issues and small. If you see something in this world that you don’t like and find yourself complaining, maybe sign up to be part of the solution. If someone is a jerk to you, maybe it’s not about you. Maybe they are having a really bad day. Sometimes, letting it go is the best thing to do. Let it pass by.
I hear Gandhi’s quote in my head, “Be the change you want to see in this world.” We can do this NOW. There is no waiting. There doesn’t have to be a tragedy and you certainly don’t have to wait until some skinny redheaded chic crashes her bike in front of you. Yes, those time do matter for sure. But, life happens in the meantime. Those small acts of kindness and quiet action can save us all. It is up to you and me. It is not about what someone else does. We’ve got this my friends.