Random Acts of Social Consciousness
Do you believe that the way you live your life not only affects the outcome of your life but also the fate of the world? Maybe it can. I heard this story over the weekend that I found both intriguing and inspiring.
There was a man in line for coffee (it must have been a drive-through coffee line) somewhere in the Seattle area. The line was very long. The man in the car behind him was extremely obnoxious – loud, honking, rude. The first man did not want to let this very rude and angry man get to him. When he got to the front of the window, he told the cashier that he wanted to also pay for this man behind him. She asked him if he was certain, because the man was so awful. He said yes. She informed him that he had a lot of people in the car and that the bill was over $50. He assured her that he still wanted to pay. To him, this was not a random act of kindness, but an act of social consciousness. This would allow him to go about his day without thinking about how rude the man was, retelling how mad it made him to co-workers, or anything else that would essentially ruin his day. It worked – he went to work and was able to put the incident behind him. When he got home later, a news van was at his house. He told the news crew that what he did was not a big deal, certainly not newsworthy. “You don’t understand,” they told him, “after you left, that man paid for the car behind him and THAT car paid for the car behind him and now it has been going on for 6 hours.”
I have learned that we attract what we project – that what we put out to the world is what essentially comes back to us. If you are kind and caring, kindness and caring will come back to you. If you are miserable and angry, you will only get more misery and anger in your life. But, it is really interesting that what we project will also inspire others – that projecting goodness can lead to others acting in goodness in the world.
Does it really work? Is this story just an anomaly? I’m certainly going to be thinking about it. We’ve all seen where someone’s negative attitude can bring negativity to everyone. It only makes sense that it would work the other way. But, just like everything else, it takes understanding, awareness, and careful attention to bring about change for the better (why does changing for the worse seems to take so little effort haha?!).
So, pay special attention to how you act today – it’s not only good for you, it could help save the world!