Monday, February 16, 2009

potential

The more I read this book, the more inspired I become to serve. As Rabbi Hillel put it, "If i am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?" This quote really touches on something special for me. When I first started reading this book I was reluctant to really think about the message, to really let it get to me. I remember thinking to myself, I can do my part in the world with some random acts of kindness. Last season on my way back from a snowboard trip, me and my friends saw some guys pushing a truck though the mountainous road and right after we saw them we saw a sign that said "gas - 14 miles". We decided to turn around and give them a lift. You should have seen their smiling faces when we started to pull them, it was priceless.

Doing stuff like this can really make you feel great and like your doing something worth while to help the world. Now, I do think that these random acts of kindness are great and should be done whenever you have the oppertunity. Although they are random and you really don't get the chance very often. As I read more of "soul of a citizen", I realize that we must play a great roll in our communities and world than just random acts of kindness. That we should all be a part of something much greater than ourselves. Also as I gain more education and really get to know myself I realize I want something much more than just financial wealth and freedom, I want to be an active member of society. As Barack Obama said, "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

1 comment:

Derick the Crowell said...

Hey buddy, while what you say is certainly good, don't be too quick to dismiss those little acts. They really do go a long way.
Example...
Let's say you didn't help those guys, and hours later they exhaustedly got gas and went home. Now, tired and sore, let's say one of them gets in a fight with his girlfriend, who is a school teacher. She goes to work the next day fuming and snaps at students all day, who then are further cemented in rebelling against the establishment of education and eventually check out completely and go on to work menial jobs the rest of their lives because their idea of education was devalued.

Now, since you did stop and help, let's say that same guy gets home, happy like crazy that someone helped him out and he shares the story with his girlfriend. They are both warmed by the simple act, and the next day at work she is smiling, refreshed, and optimistic. Perhaps this causes her to communicate better with her students or seek common ground with one she's always butted heads with. The students have a better day at school and go on to cure cancer, end poverty, and make me a cool robot body.

The point here is that everything is interconnected and like ripples in a pond every act influences the totality. Now, if the surface of the pond is dirty, a giant boulder thrown in will cause a rushing wave that causes dramatic cleansing. However, if that boulder does not come yet we constantly throw in pebbles, eventually we will have the same result. So work for the boulder, but don't forget the pebbles! =D