Know Your Role

MyRoleIsThere is always a lot of talk and focus on the “right people” in our lives… how lucky or blessed we are to have those certain people in our lives that enhance and improve our condition. And there is just as much focus on the opposite… how much we need to guard ourselves from inherently negative people and how important it is for us to distance ourselves from those who are energy suckers, users, abusers.

At the same time, I feel as though we often overlook our role/responsibility, either positive or negative, in other people’s lives. I wonder how many of us forget just how much of an effect we have over other people? I mean, how many of us actually think beyond ourselves and take the time to determine the impact we are having on someone else? And I don’t just mean the ones closest to us. But anyone we come across… at a grocery store, on the road, in business, at the post office, wherever. Everyone is living a life, experiencing a day, dealing with trials and tribulations. And although you may only feature in their daily story once, possibly for only 5 seconds, and despite the fact you could be viewed as an “extra” in their life story, you still play a role.

Perfect example… road rage. My day is marked, changed, cheapened by the guy or girl on the freeway who cuts me off and flips me off in a fit of rage (the reason for which I will never know). His or her actions change the tone of my day, no matter how much I try not to let it. Even if I don’t carry the episode with me through the day, the few minutes it takes me to find a place of calm informs my day.

Now, I am not going to debate the purpose of life here, but I am pretty sure it’s not about going through life being an asshole.

What I will say though is that if we thought more about how our actions and statements effect the days of the people we interact with (from those closest to us, to those we pass by while walking down the street), and we choose to try and make our actions and statements ones that stem from a positive mindset (no matter who we are interacting with… even if they themselves are jerks) we might just improve the overall day to day human condition.