On saving the world

Posted as a comment in someone else’s journal, and I wanted to save it for me.

I don’t think it’s really my goal to save the world, but it has always been a goal of mine to improve the world. I guess that is a difference of scale if nothing else. Call it enlightened self-interest if you like. Pay it forward. Pay-as-you-go karma plan. Whatever.

I prefer to live in a world where people are kind to each other rather than rude, and will tell the truth and not hurt me intentionally. If I want to live in this world, or at least naively believe that I do, then the price is that I have to personally live up to my standards… otherwise I will not reasonably expect others to do so — and my ability to change the world is powered by expectations, not by wishes or desires. (This is not just me — I have often noticed that if people go into a situation expexting a certain thing, then their expectations become self-fulfilling, whether for good or ill.)

OK, so, back to the matter of the world. If you are ever going to save the world, you will need to discover what your superpower is. I will give you a hint… it is something you are uncommonly good at and that you also have fun doing (or at least something that is “rewarding” – not necessarily fun but that gives life energy back to you). You may have multiple of them and they may change over your lifetime… because if something is fun you tend to do it until you get better at it, and if it ceases being fun then you will not have as much momentum as those who are having fun (or being otherwise rewarded).

So, that is it. Be a good person, set an example, not so that others will look and say “Wow”, but more so that you will reinforce the belief that people are good and breakdown the belief that people are bad, both in yourself and others. Find something that is fun and rewarding, and keep doing that, and think of ways that you can use this skill to benefit others too.

Oh and the whole thing about “find someone” – I am of the belief that you have to be whole and complete before gluing yourself to another. If that person should ever leave, die, whatever, you may be alone again. Being alone is not fun in and of itself, but you probably will be so at some points in your timeline. It’s better to be independent and choose to walk along with someone than to be desperate and latch onto someone like a life preserver. If you crave human contact, make more friends… they don’t have to be love interests. This is roughly the same as what you already said, so I think we’re in agreement.

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