Making a difference in the world

The world is a crazy, crazy place and seems to be getting crazier all the time.  We want to make a difference the world is so big and the list of areas so long that figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Often times so overwhelming it prevents us from trying.

In light of the recent Zimmerman trial verdict and sparking the questions of racial profiling, hatred and violence it hit me where I feel I can make the most difference in this world and it is in a very direct way.

I think we all can make this difference and it involves how we raise our children and the lessons we teach them and offer opportunities for them to learn this on their own.  Ignorance and hatred are not something that I believe we are naturally born with, they are planted there in the environment in which a child grows up and what they see, hear and do.  It is such a shame to see someone’s bigotry and vitriol being passed on to their child before they are old enough to know better.

Here are 10 off the top of my head (not in order of importance):

1. Be Kind

2. Be Respectful: Treat everyone with respect until they give you reason not to.

3. Everyone is an individual: Treat and react to everyone as an individual and don’t judge them based on their race, gender and/or sexual orientation. If you have a negative experience with a person don’t let that color your view of an entire race, gender, etc.

4. Embrace your differences: Use them as learning opportunities and opportunities to help others learn as well.

5. Don’t Hate: Hate impacts you more than the target of your hatred. You can dislike and even be mad, but generally the target is not worthy of your hatred.

6. Love to Learn: Embrace education both in formal schooling as well as self education. Find out and learn about topics on your own and don’t depend on just what you read/see in textbooks.

7. Ask questions: If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask a question.  If what someone says to you doesn’t sound/feel right ask the question.

8. No bullying: Whether it is mental or physical, don’t be a bystander while someone else is being bullied. Do not join in on it and call them out on it and intervene if need be.

9. No Comparisons: Don ‘t compare yourself to others. Everyone person and family have their positives as well as their negatives. Appreciate what you have and don’t take it for granted.

10. Don’t be a follower: Be a leader. Don’t join in an activity just because your friends are doing it or “to be cool”.

If anyone has others to add/share please do so in the comments section.

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About Alex Bantz

Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce in Indianapolis, Indiana. The views expressed here are my own and not those of Salesforce. I am a proud father of 3 wonderful boys. I have been involved in the field of software testing 15 years as both an individual contributor and in managerial/leadership roles. I enjoy not only learning new techniques but also assisting others in their growth and development and am a vocal supporter of the importance of software testing. View all posts by Alex Bantz

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