…but don’t waste time to prove it. What am I talking about? In today’s world it seems, at least to me as I view the news, social media, etc., that there is a general call to perform random acts of kindness. Further, it seems as if proof of such action is somehow required – as if you’re not really a good person unless you spend the extra few seconds to document your good works; as if you didn’t actually DO good unless you have evidence of such. My challenge with that should be obvious: good deeds are good deeds no matter how many witnesses there are or aren’t and the fact that you’ve done something good requires no more proof or evidence than the result of having done it.
So why then, in our society today, is there such a growing demand to flaunt your good works? To prove your good deeds? In essence, to prove that you’re a good person? I think the simplest answer is, “Because we can.” In contemporary society, where everyone and their brother has a cell phone with a camera, and where whole businesses thrive on people uploading pictures or videos, there seems to be a general feeling of, “If it’s not on video, it didn’t happen.” When someone does something good, too many people (in my opinion) ask, “Where’s the video?” Have you ever wondered why that is?
I think it’s because we have so much video posted of people doing things that are either wrong or simply stupid. In some of those videos of folks not demonstrating the smartest of behaviors, we watch and get a chuckle. Heck, there’s a TV show where people compete to get paid for the funniest videos. We’ve all seen instances where a few seconds of video, carefully selected and edited out of a half hour (or more) of the complete video, becomes the centerpiece for criticism of someone; often, just someone trying to do their job.
In a world so full of critical and negative videos, it seems reasonable to expect that there is an equal amount of video of people doing GOOD works, right? After all, many of us (myself included) believe that people in general do far more good than bad? If that’s so, how come there’s not as many videos of those good works?
Part of the answer is because no one is making money off the display of videos that show those good deeds; that show people being nice, considerate and respectful of one another. No one is making money off of videos that display common courtesy. Very few, and I do mean VERY FEW, news outlets do segments featuring GOOD works. The demand for videos showing people being nice simply doesn’t exist… except when it comes time to “prove” that you’re a good person as demonstrated by the documented good works that you’ve done. Doing so… documenting your good works, unless you simply spend your life wearing a video camera that runs 24/7/365, is overly time consuming and, ultimately, unnecessary. Here’s why –
Because anyone who expects you to PROVE you’re a good person by being able to document your good works simply isn’t the kind of person you should want in your day / life anyway. The people who should matter in your day: your friends and family; those who care about you and whose opinion of you you should care about – they don’t need proof that you’re a good person. They KNOW you’re a good person because they’ve spent enough time around you to have seen your behavior demonstrate what kind of person you are. They KNOW you’re a good person based on their first-hand observation of you.
All those other people? Do they really matter enough to concern yourself with their opinion of you?
The bottom line is this: Be yourself. Day in and day out, do what you think is right and best. Try to overcome those feelings we describe as petty or self-serving. Demonstrate respect and courtesy to everyone at first, and those who deserve it after you’ve gotten to know them a bit. Don’t waste your time or energy concerning yourself with what others think about you. Be happy with the person you see in the mirror. Go to sleep at night with your soul at peace, secure in the knowledge that you acted as best you could in each situation in the day you had. Where you see an improvement you think you could make, work on that. None of us is perfect… and we should never waste time trying to prove to people that we are. Just be who you are and let the proof of your character be displayed – for those who care enough to look – in your behavior. The rest of them? Don’t lose a moment’s sleep or waste a moment of concern on them. They’ll likely never be satisfied anyway.
– – – – – – – – – –
If you appreciated this blog entry, please check out the author’s book, “Above Dirt: Motivational Thoughts Supporting A Positive Outlook,” available on Kindle HERE.