Adding new and rewarding challenges to your life is a book of many pages, plots, and twists. There is an egotistical side of me that wants to believe these acts are special for no better reason than that I am the one doing them. Teresa and I’s trip to the local recycling center this weekend was energizing and disheartening at the same time; the place was very active. The busy bodies emptying their recyclables shot a lightning bolt down through my spine in a way I wasn’t really expecting. Let’s call it a pang of conscience; the excitement of beginning this new journey was replaced by the realization that I should have been doing this all along. Recycling has been taught to us since we were kids, I was even an Environmental Science major for a couple years, and I deemed it as a not-important-enough-for-me practice. Learning more about the best ways to recycle, reduce, and reuse is a longterm must have goal. Actually starting to do these things is the current lowest hanging fruit, and in this case, I do believe that a mostly ignorant action is better than a mostly careless one.
As we work through becoming better people, we are afforded the opportunity to compare our past selves with the selves we want to be. These comparisons can help us try to understand why we haven’t been better people all along, but more importantly, we get a very personal example as to why other people are not as altruistic as we’d like them to be. Like I’ve said before, it took me 34 years to get this far, the least I can do is give everyone else the chance that others have passively given me.
Sometimes I get lost in thoughts about my friends and the positive journeys they have embarked on over the years. They were doing things that I thought were cool, and yeah, I’ve even been jealous at times, but it was never enough to push me over to the toys in their playgrounds. Instead of going on and on about the specifics of which friends have done what, I’ll skip to the point. I’ve always been of the opinion that the freedom to choose your own path is one of the most precious gifts in the world, always with the caveat of “as long as it doesn’t hurt others.” The problem with my caveat is that I’ve only ever let it be defined by my immediate surroundings.
The first step to becoming a better person may well be learning how to swallow your pride. Only then can you admit that you were wrong, that you are wrong, and figure out how to fix it.