Action vs. Inaction

Have you ever seen something about to happen(potentially bad), and you choose to be silent about it? In the back of your mind, you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, including yourself.

The other day, I was driving to work when someone started changing lanes–into my lane–WHERE MY CAR WAS! I could have just braked hard and hoped for the best, but I decided to absolutely lay on my horn. Luckily, they understood what was about to happen if they chose to continue on the path into my lane; they opted to return to their own lane. My decision to act without worrying about potentially offending the other driver may have saved me a few hundred dollars in damages and much stress.

I find that many people in the US are hesitant to use their horn in their car. It’s actually considered to be a rude gesture by many. In contrast; my time in Manila, Philippines showed me that using your horn should not be taken on a personal level as a malicious form of road rage. After only an hour in Manila, I had heard more horns being used than the entire previous year back in the States. The streets in Manila are much more crowded, with a lack of designated lanes in many areas. This creates a very unorganized pattern of traffic. If every one of these people were to fear the use of their horn, there would be tons of accidents that could have been avoided. Horns are used to let other drivers know where other cars are located, not an insult. Take action, use your horn more often; don’t just sit by and watch an accident happen.  Similarly, in life; take action! Don’t just sit by and let negative things happen when you can help to avoid them.

Another example took place when I was having lunch a few weeks back. I was in the middle of a rather deep conversation with a friend. Something caught my eye; I noticed that a car had stalled out in the middle of a busy road. I thought to myself, “Wow, that sucks!” and went back to my conversation, half assuming that the driver would turn the car over and drive off. After a few minutes, I noticed that the driver was an older woman. I immediately got up, said, “pardon me, I need to help this woman,” and ran outside to push the car. Once people saw me pushing the car, two more people stopped to help me push it to the closest auto shop. I returned to my lunch and continued with my conversation. Thinking back, I cant quite figure out why I hadn’t immediately gone to help, especially as there was never any personal risk . It wasn’t going out of my way, and seemed to have  potential for only a positive result. This is something I aim to improve upon in my own life: being kind and doing nice things for no special reason.

Action versus inaction. Sometimes there is not much of a difference but in my own experience, the results of action tend to be positive.  In both situations, there was potential for good and bad, yet through action; I helped to create a positive outcome. That being said, I am not saying that EVERY time you take action in life there will be a positive outcome. There will be exceptions to this of course, but more often than not, you have the chance to create positive results. Don’t sit by and let the world pass you unaware. Take action. Impact the world in a positive way.