Why is inaction so easy?
Three recent life experiences:
- The credit card machine at the local sandwich shop wasn’t working. The guy behind me is informed of this after placing his order, which totaled $4. However, he did not have any cash. Yet, I did. I could have given him $4 to buy his meal. I didn’t.
- We recently had a new neighbor move into the apartment across the hall from us. One day, we happen to be walking into the building at the same time. We haven’t formally introduced ourselves. He didn’t speak. I felt the urge to say hello. I didn’t.
- On a recent beautiful fall day, I’m walking down the street, in a rush to no where (business school life). The guy walking in-front of me is carrying two bags of fruit. One of the bags, filled with apples, breaks. Apples roll across the sidewalk. I thought about helping him pick them up. I didn’t.
Being aware is simply not enough.
I wanted to do these things. I wanted to lend a hand. I wanted to help. I wanted to speak.
What stopped me?
On a weekly basis we are confronted with a number of situations similar to the ones I experienced recently.
However, taking action is hard. Action is hard because it requires intentionality. Intentionality takes effort. Its not enough to simply be aware. We must be aware and be intentional.
On the train yesterday I gave my seat to an older lady. I was aware that she likely would like to sit down. I was intentional and acted on this awareness.
Not only must we be aware in life, we must also show up.