the good and the bad in us

yesterday i witnessed a car trying to squeeze into a parking space and accidentally rubbing against the parked car and then deciding to drive off.  it happened so quickly that i didn’t even have time to pull out my phone to take a picture of the license plate.  when i accepted that there wasn’t anything i could do to help this innocent person whose car now had a scrape, i went on about my day.

but the incident left me thinking.  at what point is something none of my business and when do i need to get involved?  as much as i would love it if someone had left me a note letting me know what had happened, it doesn’t always happen that way. in fact, most of us have come to believe that it’s rare that someone honest steps up.  but it’s exactly experiences like that that promotes that way of thinking.  the innocent person will come out, notice the scrape, and be bummed that no one left a note.  if there had been a camera watching, the person who hit her probably would have left a note.  do my actions change when i think no one is watching?  do my actions change when i think no one will know?  if this is the case, then i should probably do the action that i would do if someone is watching….

if i live as if someone is watching…that somehow the universe, or god, sees my every move, my every thought, could i be a more ethical person?

there are plenty of times that i’ve done the wrong thing when no one is around.  if we all lived doing the right thing even when no one is looking, our relationships, our world, everybody would be so much more at peace because we all would begin to live in trust, and honesty would be the norm instead of the unexpected.

when i began to experience life as a person who understands that we all have good and bad in us, i could now be more honest with myself and began to live with unconditional love.  i used to believe that you only love someone if they are good to you, because that’s what i was taught.  what i understand now is we all make mistakes, and we all have our own crap that we’re dealing with.  i need to learn to love even when someone messes up because i sure would want to still be loved when i mess up.  when i see things this way, i can actually love myself more completely, with the understanding that i’m not perfect…and that’s okay.

i once heard that life is about learning to balance the good and the bad.  maybe it’s more than learning to balance, because balance implies that somehow the good and bad have to be equal.  maybe for me it’s about accepting that i have both good and bad thoughts, good and bad events happening around me all the time, but that i can pause, be mindful and to choose the action that promotes peace, harmony and understanding.

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