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You know those signs at camp sites that say “Leave it like you found it”? Take you trash with you. Not even “leave it better” or make any improvements. Just leave everything as it was when you got there.

I think that should apply to all places, and even people.

At the beginning of this year I was at a club and dancing. As one does, I knocked someone’s drink out of there hand. It really was his fault for dancing with a drink in his hand, but I’m not here to drunk-shame.

These things happen, BUT the look on his face touched me. It went from incredulous “How dare you” anger to sadness and disappointment.

Not that one should need that range of emotions, but made me think about what a dick move that was on my part, even though it was an accident.

Too many people go through life living selfishly and inconsiderately, you don’t want to be that extra person adding to the shit storm.

I immediately offered to get him a new drink. He said ok in such a resigned way, as if this had happened before, with no follow-through.

Once the bar had settled down, I got him a top up and he seemed surprised.

I introduced myself and left it at that.

The next time at the club, a few weeks later, I greeted him (by his name) and he seemed shocked that I remembered.

Seriously, how downtrodden are we?!

I know this seems VERY bleeding heart liberal of me, and I swear I’m not trying to buy my way into heaven here. This has been bugging me for some time, but why do we leave these blights on our fellow human beings?

I am, of course, in no way suggesting you run out and hand out everything you’ve got to every person on the street.

Calm down, you’re not Amelie.

What I am suggesting is that charity need not be something reserved for relief victims. You don’t have to wait until the next hurricane to be kind.

But a chat with a friend revealed that we are so used to a traditional idea of being selfish, that we are often averse to it. Just because you put yourself first does not mean that you cannot be there for others after.

Like I recently told someone, “I am impervious to guilt tripping”. I put myself first, and anyone trying to infringe on that process will instantly get disregarded. You can’t help others unless you help yourself first. Duh!

At this point I look up to the heavens and know that Oprah is proud of one of her creations.

People come and go and the lessons they teach us will always remain, but be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and leave them like you found them.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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