“Don’t ever use the behaviors of others as a measuring stick for your own.” ~LMB
In a world rife with affairs, racism, sexism, extremism, etc., looking to others as a barometer for what’s okay and not okay is unlikely to steer you in the right direction. Married men and women are signing up on sites to have affairs purposefully; countless people believe it’s normal to call your spouse/lover abusive names in anger, males and females are joining terrorist groups daily, and college campuses are a hotbed for date rape and sexual assault. Everywhere you look, there are large numbers of people harming one another physically, emotionally, or spiritually—many of whom are justifying these actions because “everyone’s doing it” or “s/he had it coming.”
If you hang out with friends who “are all doing ‘it,’” you are likely to do the same at some point. Whether they’re having affairs, smoking dope, going to strip clubs, blowing up at their family members, or you name it, we are all heavily influenced by those we hang out with. Don’t for a moment think that just because “others are doing it,” that it’s okay to do. Don’t get fooled into believing that your choices won’t significantly impact your life simply because someone else says it’s no big deal or you won’t get caught or “everybody’s doing it.” Many things many people are doing are wreaking havoc in their lives and the lives of people they love. When you do hurtful things or are out of integrity, you also will be wreaking havoc in the lives of your loved ones. Be careful about doing the easy, fun, or exciting thing—that you know would cause others pain—simply because you want to do it. Be someone you can be proud of—even if that means being an outlier in your friendship group or our world.
- Think through your actions carefully.
- Take the time to hold those likely to be impacted by those actions in the forefront of your brain.
- Act with kindness, integrity, and thoughtfulness in your everyday life and be a person you and others can trust.