A madman shot up a country music concert killing more than 50 people and injuring hundreds last Sunday night. As I woke up to the news Monday morning I thought “that is horrible” and kept on going through my day. It took a couple hours of morning hustle for it to really sink in. It should have stopped me in my tracks, but it didn’t. I think it took so long to sink in because mass shootings have become so commonplace in this nation that we are used to hearing the news! That is scary!!
As the depth of the situation and its corresponding sadness set in later in the day Monday, I answered the sadness and the inherent need to do something by going out to the garage, chalking up and setting a few PRs. I PRed squats and Benchpress. In fact with the bench press PR, I hit a goal I had been chasing for quite a while. It made me feel a little better.
You might ask yourself what sort of meathead makes himself feel better about 50+ people being killed by lifting weights. That is a very reasonable response. Let me explain.
There is a long list of things with regard to the Las Vegas shooting that I can’t fix. I can’t turn back the clock. I can’t solve the massive drug addiction and mental health epidemic that is crippling some of the most amazing people our population holds. I can’t resolve the issue of automatic weapons landing in the hands of madmen. What I can do, however, is something that only I can do. Something that everybody needs to do and something that none of us focus on enough. What I can do is make myself just a little bit better each day. When I am better it makes me a better father, husband, friend, neighbor etc. It even makes me a better stranger. Because when I am satisfied and happy with my own self-improvement, it always relays to others that I come into contact with, in the form of kindness and (hopefully) inspiration.
Wrap your head around this idea for a minute if you would. If I put some effort into Kent each day, and you put some effort into you each day, your friend or spouse does the same, and they all inspire one other person to do the same then we would be getting somewhere! Then we are starting to create a movement of people that are consciously trying to make themselves just a little better each day. Then if each one of those people goes out and follows the Golden Rule, then without too much complication we have made a huge impact on a society that really needs some positivity right now. That sort of positivity rubs off on people. It gives people that are on the fence between drugs and no drugs something better to latch onto. It gives people that have anger and sadness something to look towards besides depression and a downward spiral of mental illness. It gives people that are lost, more hope for direction.
Listen, I don’t have scientific proof for any of this. I don’t have any research or any data to back this up. I’m not claiming to have solved any of the world’s problems here. I’m just making one simple observation based on my own findings in my own world that in a society that desperately needs healing and improvement, the only person that I know how to immediately improve even just a little bit is myself. And, as a member of society, I feel a responsibility to do so. From there it does not take much metal stretching to see how that will help others. At a minimum, it helps my wife and kids.
We tend not to help ourselves. We tend to focus on other things like the media and social media. On social media, we regularly laugh, heckle or celebrate the failures of others! We take the political divide of our nation to a whole new level! This nation has been struggling with racism and reverse racism, sexism and reverse sexism since its inception and that is one of the easiest problems any society could solve! Just treat people the way you would like to be treated. When you treat yourself well, and you work hard to improve your own self, it is much easier to treat others better too. It is that simple!! The equation is so simple I think most people overlook it.
Here is the equation:
Make yourself a little better each day + Treat others a little better each day = A better and better world each day!
Instead, we get on Facebook and post memes about people’s failures and share media articles about what is wrong with the world. Then we complain because society isn’t improving! If you want to do your part to make the world a better place. Go outside a do a pushup! Go read something that is educational and positive! You don’t have to lift weights, exercise, run, do martial arts or otherwise beat up on yourself to be better. Being better can be achieved in literally millions of different ways. Maybe you get better at the guitar, or ping pong. You can do yoga, meditate, write, scrapbook, surf, Crossfit, cook, paint, draw, decorate. You can do anything that is productive and that makes you happy. Just go out there and do it and try hard to get better at it a little bit every day. That effort will have resounding impacts on those that you love and the people you come into contact with every day.
What one thing can you do to make yourself (and therefore others) just a little bit better today? What one thing can you do that will have a positive impact on the world just one inch at a time? Find that thing and you will be very happy that you did!