By doing good for just one person, in just one moment, you can affect the trajectory of many things, of many lives, all over the world. Even if in some situations it’s not easy to be kind, gracious or positive, keep in mind it’s not just that moment that you are affecting, it’s many moments into the future.
Let that motivate you to see beyond frustrating moments and contribute more kindness, respect and happiness in the world. This requires an awareness of self, an awareness of others, a genuine desire to leave people, places and things better than you found them, and a basic belief in the good in people. If you don’t have those, what I am suggesting can be difficult to do.
I have always believed in and seen what is possible when many others do not. My family and friends will tell you sometimes to the point of going after what is quite clearly impossible, but I rarely see things that way. I am acutely aware that most people are capable of more than they know. And because people are capable of more than they know, so are families, communities, companies and countries.
When I am around people every day, my heart and soul radiate with the awareness that I am in the presence of greatness. Maybe greatness unfound, or greatness underdeveloped, but the potential or existence of greatness nonetheless. You never know who will go on to do good or even great things or become the next great influencer in the world – so treat everyone like they are that person.
For these reasons and more, I believe we should all ‘assume positive intent’. While believing that can put you in a position to occasionally be let down, that is by far the minority outcome. In general, when you assume positive intent, that is a version of believing in others more than they may believe in themselves, and often leaves a situation’s momentum moving forward for people to act more like the person they can become than the person they may have otherwise been in that moment.
Some people are farther away from the best version of themselves than others – they are affected by their environment over time, how much good or bad they’ve seen in their lives, and what they believe is possible at any given moment. That is why it’s so important for each person to spread as much respect and kindness as possible. If every person on the planet gave one effort of kindness or respect tomorrow, the positive ripple effects of that are so great that they are difficult to quantify.
Every person has the possibility to do one small thing today that can create many more great things in the future. It’s the small things, the little actions of respect and caring, and the expressed belief in others that can create big change in the world for the better over time.
People believe more in themselves when they believe there is something to reach for, when they believe in tomorrow. When people believe in tomorrow, when they feel they can be a part of progress, they almost always rise to the occasion.
See what’s possible not only in the world in general, but more importantly, in people you interact with every day. See people for what they can do, not for what they are doing – and do your part to give them access to opportunity, respectful coaching, provide accountability, and help them see that they are capable of more than they know.
Oh… and if you do encounter the occasional exception, the person who sucks life out of the world and spreads more negativity than they do positivity, move along…swiftly, and focus again on the rest of the possibility and good around you. J