How I Make a Difference

981 words | 4 page(s)

This paper is concerned with how I tried to make a difference in the world around me. It is extremely important to do what one can at all times to make it clear that one understands and respects other people This is something which I try to do wherever I go and whatever I am doing. There are many different kinds of people who must live together in the world and it is very important that they learn to be able to live together and that they are able to communicate their mutual respect for each other. This essay will talk about how I try to make a difference in the world by smiling and holding a door open for people whom I don’t know. I attempt to remember peoples’ reactions and also to attempt to understand them. I did this for the week of 15th to the 22nd of April, this year.

The first location in which I did this was my own student environment at ISU. I often attend lectures with many people in them and it is often busy and many people seek to push past each other in order to get the best seating place that they can, and also in order to make sure that they can hear the professor as well as possible. While it is perfectly understandable that people would be self-interested when they go about doing this, I also believe that it is important to show respect to people. I found that doing this helped me to relax and also that it created an atmosphere in which learning could happen well and in which people felt as if they are at home and amongst friends. I discovered that the simple act of holding open the door and smiling, even if it was for someone that I didn’t know, allowed people to feel as if they were respected. This respect is important, not only for me, but also for all of those around me. It was clear that people appreciated this and that I even started several conversations with people whom I had not met before. There people in my class with whom I am now friends as a result of my simple behaviour.

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I also take this behaviour outside of the classroom. I buy several items from the local Walmart store. This store is often very busy and people are often in a rush when they go there. The peak times for shopping are around half past five to seven in the evening as this is when people finish work and when they must get their items before they return home. By standing by the door and helping people through it and smiling at them I hoped to again show that I respected the people around me and to allow them to feel at ease in a busy and stressful location. The reaction of people was often mixed and unpredictable. Some people smiled back and showed their gratitude to me. When they did this I could tell that, even in a busy world where many many people are taught they must be continuously self interested, it is possible to create a sense where people feel at home and are respected. However, several people were cold towards me and this suggested that they did not like my efforts and thought that I was somehow making an intrusion on them. They would often simply ignore me, or give me a strange look as they passed through the door which I was holding. The main point which I learned by doing this at Walmart was that it is very difficult to predict what a person’s to it will be.

Another location in which I do this is at my local McDonalds. I frequently eat there. Once again people’s reactions were mixed. Some people clearly appreciated what I was doing and smiled back. Others simply walked past me and gave me a very uncertain look. The same effect happened when I offered to open people’s car doors for them when they had a large amount of shopping to put away. It was clear that some people were very grateful for my help and they thanked me, and sometimes we even started a conversation. However, others were suspicious of the fact that I simply wanted to help them and therefore they would often decline my help and would look at me as if I was intruding on their space, and even as if I wanted to hurt them or to steal from them. This made it clear to me that once again it is very difficult to predict whether or not someone’s reaction to basic courtesy would be aggressive and unsure, however this did not stop from wanting to practice it.

In conclusion, I try to make a difference in the world around me. This often takes the form of holding the door open for people and smiling at them when they go through. This has led me to a series of observations. The first of these is that basic courtesy is important and that many people respond to it positively. However, I also conclude that many people are not used to such acts and that they will sometimes respond to it negatively. The experience of doing this means that I still believe that it is important to make a difference but that one cannot always expect for this behaviour to be rewarded. I believe, however, that this second conclusion is much less important than the first and believe that I will still continue with this behaviour whenever I get the chance. This is important not only because it allows for individual people to feel better in their everyday life but also because it allows for others to see an example about how it is possible to make a difference in the world through only a little effort.

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