Warning: This blog post contains mixed language. Deal with it.

I recently became aware of just how selfish we are in the lives that we lead – even when we lead them with the best of intentions. We want to be a good mother to our children, a good friend to our friends, a good wife to your husband, a good teacher to your students, but just what exactly does it mean to be good to these people in our lives?

We are so driven by our dreams, chased by the word’s expectations of what it means to live a good life, that I have come to believe that we are not really being good people at all. At least, not in the sense of what it really means to be good.

My Life is Your Life

My life isn’t my life. Your life isn’t just yours. It is those you work with and who work for you. Dit is jou kinders s’n en die mense om jou se kinders s’n.

Whether you like it or not, every little thing you do matters. Every single thing. Every choice you make is a choice that influences another person. Jy dink dis net jou lewe, dis net jou besluite – “Dit het niks met niemand te doen nie.” The truth is, what you do matters more than you will ever know. Whether it is how you greet someone when passing them on the street, or how seriously you take your position as leader (as hoofmeisie of as die president). What you do MATTERS, because you matter and every choice you make influences someone else’s life.

Ons almal het families vir wie ons wil sorg, maar hoe ons kies om dit te doen sê ook watter tipe persoon jy is. Gee jy net om oor jou kinders? Of hou jy ‘n beskermende ogie oor die kinders van ander – of dit nou jou vriende se kinders is, en of die seuntjie is wat elke dag touchies speel naby jou huis? Do your kids know love, because you show them love, or do they know love because you are love?

People tell us that we shouldn’t carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, but the truth is that we all carry the weight of this world on our shoulders. Even if you don’t like it. The weight is there. Some of us just choose to ignore it, or don’t even recognise that this is also our weight to carry.

I’m not saying that we should all change who we are, or spend all our money on charity events and fundraisers. All I’m asking, is that we recognise the weight that our actions carry: As a boss, do you greet your staff with encouragement, despite the struggles that you have had to face? As a child, do you speak up when you see an adult doing something you don’t agree with? As an adult, do you allow children to question your actions? As a leader, do you treat others with respect, even when they least deserve it? Do you give your kid an extra sandwich so that he can share it with a friend in his class? As a teacher, do you act and react like you wish your students to act? Students, do you realise that just greeting your teacher with kindness could make their whole day better? Father, are you raising a “gentleman”, or someone who knows that good manners does not always equal a good person? Employer, do you know that giving more flexible hours to your staff could mean that a father or mother could spend more time with their children? Or do you just care about the job? And then you rationalise your answer, because your job is giving someone else a job so that they could feed their families. “You are actually a hero.” Is that what you believe? Or don’t you think about any of this at all? Is it just me?

We all have a great weight on our shoulders, but we all also have a light that shines bright within us. Our lights serve different purposes, but it has one thing in common – it burns with a desire to show the world who we truly are and what the world could truly become. It is a light that drives away darkness – not only yours, but the darkness of those around you as well.