304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Being kind and courteous to one person can change their world.
However, being kind and courteous to one person at the detrimite, inconvenience, or even the hindrance of tens, hundreds, thousands of others, becomes a larger issue.
It ends up not being about helping that person anymore, it becomes a selfish exercise to make yourself feel better.
I want to explore more times people have experienced this, from both sides. Maybe you can admit that you were being selfish, maybe you were shown courtesy, or maybe you truly were helping someone.
I witness it a lot in the world.
A small and insignificant example?
Someone stops traffic flow for hundreds of people enduring the morning rush hour to get to work, slowing the flow of traffic to a standstill, causing upwards of 10 and over minutes of time lost in your commute, because they were being courteous to let someone in from the opposite side of the road. Which caused traffic to stop both ways. When, during the regular flow of traffic and light patterns, there is ample time every 90 seconds for 2 or 3 cars to go through this same exchange. Because that person felt they were being courteous, they have now inconvenienced the entire flow of traffic and its effects are now felt for the next 60 to 90 minutes of traffic flow on that road which can be documented and shown with traffic data on Google Maps.
Being courteous to that one car, caused hundreds of people time, maybe their jobs, maybe money in general. All because they wanted to break through the flow of traffic and stop it for hundreds of people.
So, the counter argument in a hypothetical is, “What if that person they let out went on to work today and cured cancer, because they had an extra 10 minutes?”.
The probability is low, but never 0.
The converse is, what if 50 of the over 100 people went on to, release people from jail who were unjustly imprisoned, cure disease, discover a new technology, or solve the energy problems because they had the extra 10 to 45 minutes of time today that they weren’t spent in a car being stuck behind this person.
While the probability is still low, it’s higher than the first scenario, and still never 0.
It’s something I want more people to talk about, I want to know where you’ve seen this happen and where it’s been a problem in your life.