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Failing at life

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Today I feel like I failed a test of character.

I was walking to my car when I heard the telltale signs of a flat tire drive by and I did nothing to alert the driver of the issue. (Neither did any of my co-workers I was walking with, so we may have experienced the bystander effect.) There was a stop sign and we were in a parking lot so I had a decent chance of stopping the driver. We even commented on it as the car went by, but a few seconds later the car was out of our reach.

Those seconds were some of the longest seconds in my life. Every bone in my body was saying I should say something, but I didn’t do it. Was I too scared of making myself seem like a fool in front of my peers if I was wrong about the flat tire? I don’t really know why I didn’t do anything.

But I know that afterward I felt like a failure.

I hope that this doesn’t happen again.

I feel like these small tests of character come up often in my life. Nearly every day, I have at least one opportunity to directly impact somebody’s life and the choices I make during these opportunities determines the kind of person I am. Some days are good and I walk a bit taller knowing that I helped somebody. Some days… not so much.

I think heroes are the people who make the choice to be that helpful person, to directly impact somebody’s life for the better without regard to self. The easy choice is to stand by and do nothing. Heroes change the world, perhaps only in some small way, but they should be called heroes nonetheless.


Written by notatypewriter

2011 September 23 at 1:41 am

Posted in Thoughts

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