Not many of us makes zero difference. Making no difference would be quite a feat. Even in a coma, we are not inert beings. At this moment we are either making a contribution or we are consuming. The contribution-depletion balance happens within ourselves and affects everyone we touch. It continually emanates and accumulates. It is, and becomes, either net positive or net negative.
When we check out and leave our bodies behind, no matter what is etched on our headstone, or what is said or written about us, we’ll have left a net positive or a net negative. We can plan for checkout, but we’ll never know when that is.
Unless we are saintly, we all end up doing things we wish we wouldn’t have, things we’d consider to be negatives. Sometimes they are little things, other times more impactful. But we always have an effect on the direction our energy is flowing. We are either making a deposit or taking a withdraw. Only the account is with the global humankind bank. It’s not the kind of account where we benefit by spending or withdrawing funds.
This brings me to DOM (dear ole mom). With a very rare form of blood leukemia, she is looking for ways to contribute as she works through difficult chemo treatments. To quote her, she doesn’t want to “just be a blob” sitting around, as if in a conscious coma. She has a strong desire to continue to make a net positive difference, and make that contribution on a daily basis.
Gather all the energy we’ve emitted and we either fall into the credit or debit column. DOM’s desire is admirable and refreshing. Not old(er) age or retirement will diminish the desire to forge ahead building up our credit column, if we have the right perspective.
I read a blog post two weeks ago by Seth Godin in which he lists attributes that are either taught or we learn along the way. He emphasized that they are not gifts, but learnable attributes. Although he was referring to the workplace, they are attributes valuable to making a net positive difference in all our waking hours. Some attributes he says we like to see in others are:
We could think of more. But even these few would be valuable to consider more than once in a while as we look for ways to keep our behavior, habits, and lifestyle pointed to the credit column. And yes, the opposite of those attributes has us spending, making withdraws.
We all have our ‘blob moments’ from time-to-time. But it will be to our credit if we continue to think net-positive. Go DOM. I hope I’ll have that same desire if I’m lucky enough to arrive at your good age.