Consider This!

Tue. May 4, 2010 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

Being considerate of others! Funny enough I've been hit (literally) with the dilemma of people taking others into thought. One would think that this is part of who we are as humans. I beg to differ! I have the opinion that it's time for a tune up in this area!

Not long ago I was walking from the Addison train station to my home. On this particular day, I had decided to walk up to Halsted and take a right. As I was walking someone said hello to me, and we started a conversation. We came to the last alleyway before Addison and a guy on a bike ran over my foot and over my friend's foot without so much as an apology. He just went on with his ride.

I was more shocked at his complete and total disregard for the wellbeing of others, than I was for his running over us. Did he not feel bad? Was he not aware that he just took part in a hit and run? Needless to say, it threw me for such a loop I turned and walked down the alley.

This blatant disregard for others seems to be the norm these days. The commute to my office a while back was next to a man who thought that the two person seat was more his than mine. Sure, he was a little stocky, but that was no excuse for him to keep his legs spread wide open! Did he not take into consideration that someone on the busy bus would need to sit down? As I sat there scrunched and frustrated, I saw a girl with a lot in her hands. Surly this skinny girl would fit right in my seat. So I offered it to her; "Would you like my seat ma'am?" Her response was one of being offended at being called ma'am. "I'm not old!" she shouted. I just sat there thinking that I was damned no matter what I did.

I guessed I was raised to believe that others were to come before me. When I was a kid, my God-fearing Mother always used to say, "Jesus, o thers, and yourself!" as a reference to the true nature of joy! Through her faith she knew then what I hope we will all embrace today; the needs and feelings of others are truly important for us to acknowledge and place priority on!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but consider others better than you ! So many times I have a personal agenda or goal in mind that clouds my vision of others. Where I think it is really important to have those missions in our lives, I would encourage us to never have them at the expense of others. I get so preoccupied with what's important to me that I don't fully think of others feelings, desires, or goals. This selfish attitude will get you nowhere! Perhaps it is wise to always have the question " How will this effect others? " in mind.

Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to people in their need When someone asks you how are you doing, it's usually said as a greeting not and inquiry on your well-being. Perhaps we should be asking that question of people more to the point. We all would love it if someone were to ask us how things are going in various circumstances! Sure, it's easier to do that with someone we love or care about, but how about the bartender, bus driver or boss? We all have needs and we can all reach out.

Get rid of the "I" and replace it with "We" . This is a matter of choice. It is really natural for me to look out for number one. Me! I try on a daily basis to change that natural thinking with the idea of looking out for others. ( Note : This is not advice to place your needs and issues aside. We should deal with those as well. I am talking about balance here.) Here are some examples:

-Letting someone else have the seat on the train/bus.

-Holding the door for a person to go before you.

-Helping someone when they clearly need some assistance.

Just the other day I was listening to someone complain about their work environment and how it seemed that everyone was only looking out for themselves. I shared with them the I/We suggestion and they looked at me like I was crazy. Could it be that we as a society have lost this team approach? Whether you give a helping hand to the latte lady or your little sister; or share the burden with your best friend or busboy, it's an opportunity to make a little difference in someone's life.

I would like to encourage you to pause as you go about your day and identify the "little things" that people do that are inconsiderate. Notice how it makes people feel and see how they react. Then, take the extra moment to Consider others in your path. Some would call this going out of your way or above and beyond; I call it Making A Difference !