It’s the small things!
It’s always the small things which add up to create the big things. It doesn’t matter if we think a tiny white lie won’t hurt anything. It doesn’t matter if we think slacking off on our job for one day won’t change things. And it doesn’t matter if we are late by choice because of whatever justification that is in our control.
The honor and integrity of one’s quality of character is at stake. Certainly these small things are rarely, if at all, discovered by others. The fact of the matter remains that habits all start somewhere. This means that we actually teach ourselves to do certain things. And not all of them are done subconsciously!
Take for example two encounters I had recently in the town where I currently reside. I stopped in at a large chain grocery store. I paid for my groceries and received my change, but not all of it. This store had a machine dispense the coins while the checker returned bills.
Well, my coin change was fifty-one cents. The machine returned two quarters, but no penny. I mentioned this to the checker and received a ‘so the fuck what’ look from her. She was young, to be sure. Probably still in high school.
“It’s just a penny,” she exclaimed! Well, it’s a penny due to me per the company and social policy. “It’s still my penny,” I informed her. She grudgingly opened her till and gave me a penny. I thanked her and began walking away.
I wasn’t even a single step away when she started mumbling. “Oh MY GOD! What a DICK! I can’t believe he’s crying about a little penny!”
The bagger chimed in too! “Some people are just anal about stupid things,” he said.
The issue is not about how horrible of an individual I am. The issue was about following through on company and social policy in terms of voluntary interactions. Now I could have gone to the customer service desk and requested to speak with a manager. I didn’t. I was tired after working my day job and in a hurry to get home and be away from the world.
And with a little afterthought, once in my car, I felt I should have talked to the manager. But no worries, I would get my chance to follow up soon enough. The very next face to face encounter with a human being afforded me just such an opportunity!
Upon arriving home I exited my vehicle, walked across the street, and began opening the door to my apartment hallway entrance when I noticed a young woman with her toddler walking a big German Sheppard. The woman was on her phone waiting her dog to finish doing its big business in the strip of grass along the public road way. I decided I was going to ask her about clean up as she started walking away.
“Excuse me! Would you like a bag for clean up?” It was a simple question. She knew her dog did some business in the grass and partially on the sidewalk and I was the one who got a nasty look in return. “I can get a bag for you, if you like,” I offered once more.
“Don’t talk to me! You don’t know what it’s like to be a single mom and have to do all of this by yourself. So shut the hell up talking to me!”
I didn’t say anything after that. I went upstairs to put my groceries away. I emptied my trash can and took one of the left over groceries bags down with me on my way to throw out my trash bag. I came down the stairway and exited the building in time to see this lady walking back up the street by my apartment door.
I threw my trash out and took the spare bag to clean up after her dog. She watched me and sneered as she walked pass me. “I have a dog and a daughter and am a single father, just so you know,” I said to her as she turned away and kept walking. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything. Maybe I should.
She and I live in the same town. One of us chooses to clean up after ourselves. And that is such a small thing. It is a conscious choice. If we want to live in a good, wholesome, fair, honest, and peaceful world we will benefit from striving to be those things before we encourage others to do so. If we want to live in a world that is not maximizing those things then we will not strive to be those things. It is really that simple!
It is not an easy thing to strive for in all fairness. Especially when we do not have good examples or other people willing to invest their time and energy into us to help us grow. And even when we do, we all have rough days. We all have situations in our lives where everything seems to go wrong. And when these times are upon us, we have to remember that it is an act of cruelty to others to allow ourselves to think we are above being empathetic to others concerning our choices.
We are all more or less the same in what we are capable of. We know what the overwhelming majority of people are capable of. None of us are action movie strong without a lot of work going into making that happen. We all have our pluses and minuses concerning our skills and abilities. So when we choose to negatively interact with others we encourage hostility. This is one way evil grows. But all that is considered evil comes from the same place!
The rejection of seeking more efficient means to creating a clear and complete path of thought progression concerning any invocation of interacting with others always ends up justifying hurting, hindering, or otherwise negatively affecting another individual’s ability to peaceful and honestly maintain and improve the quality of their life!
While I understand that is a huge idea, it starts somewhere. In this case, I find that a lot of people feel instantly judged when confronted about their behaviors. It is seemingly a natural thing. Although, I am learning through my personal studies that this behavior of retaliation for being held accountable is a learned behavior, frequently through a judgmental society and personal relationships. This culture of judging others stems from the idea that there is always a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way; if it is not ‘right’ then it is automatically ‘wrong.’ And this is dangerous when there are plenty of neutral actions.
There is so little in the world of Humanity that is universally applicable as being ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This comes with context of the situation. Morality is not ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It is taught as that because of religion. Legalities have the same mindset as religion. And this ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ mindset is often held up in businesses too!
Although, the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to perform job functions in businesses are based solely on the context of the rules agreed to by the employee and the employer. So maybe we should take a look at how that works and reverse engineer the idea from there!
No matter what, if we do not take a stand for the small things they will snowball into the larger problems and barriers of life which prevent us from being peaceful going into our daily interactions with others. Yes, that means what you may be thinking it means.
It means that there is a possibility that we may enter interactions with others not on peaceful terms in order to arrive at peaceful means to just get something simple we take for granted today, like a hamburger or can of soup. This is what happens in dystopian worlds and civilizations which reject seeking more efficient means beyond the limited knowledge they know works, but not why it works.
These small things that we allow to go unchecked turn into big nasty barriers to more efficient means. What is more efficient for present and future relations than peace? Peace is a show of respect for the value others have placed upon their lives. In the case of the teenage checker at the grocery store, she likely has no idea what this concept is. So for her immeidate gratification and percieved vindacation for me highlighting something that is negative for me but the result of a machine or software malfunction, she decided to become hostile.
For whatever reason she did not want to open her till and make good on the terms of her employment. I understand that it was just a penny. It was a penny that I earned by refining my time, intellect, and labor. It doesn’t matter that such a penny may only have required me to refine five seconds of my life or .00005 seconds of my life. I refined my time, intellect, and labor to earn that penny which she did not want to give me back and became hostile over!
As far as the young woman with her dog and toddler is concern, she may have been experiencing some hardships that I don’t’ know about. Or she may have just not liked the fact that she was called out on something our town has been cracking down on. Whatever the case, she knew she was required to clean up after her dog because of the signs and literature our town posts everywhere about such things. She made the conscious choice to be a hindrance and then become hostile.
However, unlike the interaction with the teenager at the grocery store where I could have sought restitution or vindication from a manager, I had no other peace resolution to seek than cleaning up the mess made by her dog. Some will say I could have called the local authorities. Yet, the law enforcement is just introducing violence into a situation where it doesn’t need to be. My options are to simply let her keep walking and to remind her to clean up after her dog peacefully or to exit the town and let her live in the filth with others.
Peace requires a lot of upfront patience when it is faced with violence and hostility. The rewards and continuous return on investment though are tremendous. Unfortunately, many of us do not recognize this because we do not have the personal experience of having to fight for our meals, clean clothes, and a dry bed to sleep in. We take a lot of these interactions for granted.
But the moment we have to make the choice to be peaceful with others in order to gain their trust or be killed by them is the moment we are struck like a truck sized epiphany!
We all have a responsibility, not to others but, to ourselves to maintain peaceful relations. This is easily stated. It is also easily done more days than not when we have a clearly define moral philosophy. But we cannot have such a thing until we understand what the purpose of morality is.
Why do we invoke morality?
Just think on that for a while. When you’re ready, download a free copy of my eBook, Morality Defined to explore more of what I define as a clear and complete path of thought progression. The clearer and more complete the ideas we invoke to interact with others are, the more beneficial the interactions we will have with others!
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