Faith in Humanity

As much as possible, I try to focus on what is good in the world and to appreciate the generous and thoughtful actions of others. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to understand what motivates people to do the things they do.

For example, today the following happened:

  1. Someone decided to leave a disgusting mess all over the toilet seat in the washroom at work and didn’t even bother to flush. Surely the person must have known that wasn’t appropriate, so why do that in a place you work with others?
  2. A man ahead of me on the sidewalk deliberately tossed a food wrapper on the ground and kept walking without even looking to see if anyone was watching. He was metres away from a garbage container.
  3. I made the mistake of reading the comment sections on some online news sites. There are very few activities that can destroy one’s faith in humanity quicker than reading the online comments submitted by anonymous trolls.

On a positive note, two strangers running by on our street helped us to corner our puppy who had escaped from the house. They didn’t even bother to stop their watches first (that’s a big deal for runners).

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My Own Story

Each month my son, B, is required to complete a homework assignment as part of his martial arts program. This month’s assignment focused on personal responsibility and included this short poem:

“I’m the one who writes my own story
I decide the kind of person I will be
What goes in the story and what does not
Is pretty much up to me.”

While it certainly won’t win the Griffin Poetry Prize, the poem did challenge my son to be accountable for his own actions and behaviours. When asked to explain what the words meant to him, B said, “You get to decide who you are. I want to be me—a good guy; nice.”

This evening as I reflect on the poem, I’m challenged to continue writing my own story. While I can’t control what will happen to me in the future, I can determine what kind of person I want to be and how I will respond to the challenges and opportunities that come my way.

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