The consequences of inconsequential attitude


 We are social animals. We thrive on acceptance, respect, acknowledgement, basic dignity, and social interactions. These help build and hold our ego and pride in ourselves; it confirms the structure of our self esteem and identity.  Some may choose to accept this fact or some may deflect it with the casual malaise that is common amongst those who live in arrogant denials of their behaviours and the resulting consequences. While the former kinds tend to be more cautious and concerned about the results of their behaviours, the later like to think of themselves as single independent beings that merely see others are their stepping stones in their path to accumulate self gratifying moments and other similar selfish pursuits.

Although we often appear as living in individualistic societies with minimal dependencies in reality we are more interdependent on several others that we realize. It is very much like we are in traffic on a highway at peak hour. Although we are cocooned in our little space inside our vehicles we are just part of a greater interdependent system travelling in the same direction as ours with almost a similar objective of reaching home or a given destination within a desired time. And in this complex system we absolutely depend on every single vehicle and driver to adhere to certain rules and systems. Everyone on this highway is expected to be courteous and aware of other drivers. Follow a certain sets of rules to indicate, change lanes, maintain speed and give the right of way to other drivers as and when required. In this system if one driver chooses to disregard the rules and common expectations it could cause an accident and have a very adverse affect to all the commuters on that highway. Accidents will not only hurt the person who breaks the rules with little respect to the eventual consequences, but the consequences may include the possibility of hurting another driver who they collide with, this in return will cause a traffic jam that will delay several drivers getting to their destinations. This could further have several adverse consequences due to the delays. For example if an doctor was stuck in the traffic who needed to get t other hospital to perform a major surgery, or a paramedic carrying a critical patient or a parent who need to pick up a child from school who may be waiting alone. All of this could be a possible result of a particular driver who is disrespectful of others and has little concern of the consequences of their individual behaviour.

In our individual lives we always find ourselves as a part of a system or a unit and we invariably become a representation of that system by association. We represent the company we work for, we are a member of a given professional group, we belong to a hand full of social group or sub groups, we also represent our family by carrying the surname, we are also representatives of our faith system that we choose to follow, the school we graduated from the country we belong to etc. Yet while being a part of these systems we still carry a great deal of individuality that we can choose to use to do something different and achieve a certain level of success. And we may also use this individuality to do something different that may have a negative consequence to self and the system that we represent. And many of us also tend to judge others and other countries, systems, groups, religions, cultures etc. by such individual personalities as though they are the sole representatives of the whole system. Although this is wrong, we often do this. Perhaps because we are subconsciously aware of the fact that every individual’s behaviour does have an impact to the system they are in. And we are often part of several such social systems beginning with our family.

If this is truly understood be one, then he or she will become aware of the magnitude of the colossal responsibility they carry and how valuable their every behaviour could become in terms of positive contribution towards progress and betterment of the systems they belong. Every behaviour, choice, attitude, demeanor and word could have several consequences to self and the system each person represents. If one has little respect for self and doesn’t care about others they will still continue to have a significant impact on the system they belong to. They can hurt their loved ones, family, or any system they belong to.  They could disgrace their family, company they work for, the social groups they belong to, etc  just by mere association. Similarly how we take care of ourselves and the things we share have greater consequences too. Our helath maters to our loved ones and those who depend on us, and how we treat our environment matters to everyone we share this planet with.

Thus, we are never truly alone. Even a homeless lonely person is representative of other homeless people. Each and every single behaviour of ours has an impact on us and several others simultaneously. Hence we never really can afford to think that what we choose to do, how we behave and conduct ourselves is inconsequential!  We can bring disgrace to self and everyone we associate with or we can choose to bring respect, dignity and pride to self and every other person we associate with. If we choose to conduct ourselves with great care and awareness it helps us affirm our self esteem and identity in a positive manner. And most importantly this begins at home. This begins by representing our core values, traditions, culture and principles. Just like us, others judge us not by what we think we are or how we see ourselves, but we are judged by how we behave, and how we conduct ourselves.

Yes, this must be contrary to the popular advice not to care about what others say about you and do what your heart tells you. And I totally agree with this advice but this is pretaining to your critics and those who deminish your best intentions and positive efforts by their negative comments. However this does not apply to your behaviour that is negative and with dire consequences to self and others.