Learning To Be A Member Of The World Community

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I get all choked up when I see a fire truck or an ambulance rush by and all the cars move out of the way.  It’s not that I’m attracted to the pain happening to someone else, it’s that my emotion comes from observing that for a moment a great many people come together to assist someone they don’t even know.

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and then lived in NYC for many years.  For some reason in those cities people don’t really pay much attention to ambulances.  But here in Los Angeles all the cars move out of the way.  Maybe that’s the reason why this event has caught my attention, the ambulance determined to get to its destination on time so it can save a life and all the surrounding drivers assist in the mission.

You might be thinking “why is she going on and on about ambulances?”

So here it goes; without thinking, either by following our instincts or because it is the law, we put strangers ahead of us.  Yes, it is a small thing, moving out of the way for a few seconds, but the impulse is there and for that moment we do help and we get to step outside our lives and needs.  We as a society or we as individuals chose to do the right thing.

So much of our angst comes from spending all of our time thinking about what we don’t have and how things have gone wrong.  It is our human tendency to concentrate our thoughts on ourselves but what that does is exaggerate the importance of our issues.

Having the ability to step outside ourselves and assist others allows us to deflate our own issues and put them in perspective.  Not everything that happens to us is the most important thing in the world.

So maybe next time you see a fire truck, pull to the side and realize you have just had a small part in helping a stranger, see how that makes you feel.  And maybe that will get you motivated to help a tourist on the street to find his destination.  Or maybe you’ll a person manage a dog, a stroller and a grocery bag.  And maybe before you know it, you’ll have no time for issues in your life which at the end of the day are meaningless and as a bonus you get to feel you are a member of the human community.

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