There are no personal acts. Everything one does have an affect on someone, somewhere.
Matthew Kelly states it best in today’s session of Best Lent Ever:
“As human beings, one of our expertise is to make excuses. Our culture has fallen into this sort of macro excuse—this generalized excuse. And it is the idea that, “Well, this is just who I am.” This macro excuse that our culture has fallen into then leads to some very, very, very dangerous thinking: the idea of an isolated personal act.
So, you get done at work today, you go home, you think to yourself, “Ah, I’m exhausted. I’ve got to relax.” You plant yourself in your big couch with a 6-pack of beer and a 300-ounce bag of Doritos. You order some pizza, some chicken wings, and two 2-liter bottles of Coke (one diet of course). And you devour this feast, followed by two pints of ice cream. Our culture says that was a personal act. Wrong. There’s no such thing as a personal act.
Everything we do every day affects everybody. I mean, there’s some really obvious connections, right? I mean, you have that experience often enough, guess what. It changes the cost of healthcare for the company you work for, which changes how much money your colleagues get paid next year—and you didn’t even share a slice of pizza with them.
Everything affects everyone, everywhere, all the time. And not just now, forever.
Some people look at the world and say, “Wow, the world’s a mess. How’d it get this way?” That’s how it got this way—personal acts. Personal acts. We do our own thing. We step away from God. We step away from character. We step away from virtue. We step away from the-best-version-of-ourselves. We do our own thing, even though we know our own thing is harmful to us and harmful to others. That’s how the world got to be a mess.
How do we make the world a little bit less of a mess every single day? Just do the next right thing.”
And when you look at it that way…wow. We do our own thing and lose empathy and sight of others. And then teachers are afraid to go to work, parents are afraid to send their children to school, people blast each other on social media because they have a screen to hide behind, and before you know, this world is a crazy, messed up place.
Focus today on this concept: Everything we do affects the people around us. Everything we do affects the entire world.
Act: Talk to someone close to you about how your seemingly personal acts affect him or her. You may not like what you hear–but then you can take that message and turn it into a positive. Work on correcting that behavior and instead focus on virtues.
DAY 14: JOY and GRATITUDE
My heart is filled with joy and gratitude every single day for these two little monsters. They are my whole heart. I love getting to spend quality time with them and I love watching them become the little guys they are becoming. They both have such huge personalities and leave their father and I belly laughing 90% of the time. And you know what’s awesome? Belly laughing 90% of the time you are with your loved ones.