Random musings and activities of a 30 something mom, potential sprint triathlete, vegetarian, dog and cat owner, and a evolving urban homesteader just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us. If the blog seems random, it's because life is and hits us all at 100mph.
Sunday, January 14, 2007

PostHeaderIcon Human Behavior, and a few random thoughts

Anyone who knows me in "real" life knows that human behavior never ceases to amuse me. Sometimes in a good way, and sometimes it gives me pause to reflect on why some people are, well, just so wrong in the head.

At a company I previously worked at, I was told while hiring another trader that :

20% of people will follow the rules and be ethical no matter what temptations are in front of them

20% of people will try to skirt the rules, break them, and/or find a way to cheat the system no matter what safeguards are in place

60% the rest of the population are generally good people.... they wouldn't think of stealing from the company, unless they were in dire need or extreme circumstances

I generally have found this to be true. I would say that I fall in the 60% and do not want to say my ethics are circumstanstial, but given an extreme situation, let's just say, I'd hope I'd do the right thing.

Friday's news brought two example of the 2 polars of the 20%.

First, Secret Santa Dies. This man went around for YEARS giving out $100 bills to those in need around Christmas time. He identity was unknown until recently when he revealed himself. He gave over 1.3 million in anonymous cash donations.

Then, reported on the same day, the polar opposite was revealed. Two boys who were kidnapped 4 years apart were found alive, hiding in plain sight. Reminds me of the Elizabeth Smart case to a certain extent. I can only hope that he is "accidently" put into the general population at whatever prison he goes to.

I believe that most of us fall in between these two (the 60%). We try to do the right thing, we think about volunteering more, but generally as long as we're not hurting others, we're content to continue on in our lives.
In fact, I would argue we're content to sit on the sidelines and benefit from everyone else's contributions.

I wonder, was there anyone (neighbors? friends? coworkers?) who saw that boy and thought maybe something was out of place and didn't want to get involved?

I wonder, how many of us have an extra $20 to give to someone in need?
We may not have millions to give, but we have time, and everyone has a little something to give.

Being in the 60% is comfortable, and I don't think any of us want to be in that bottom 20%..... but how much more of your time and effort would it be to be in that top 20%... giving a little more, showing more compassion, random acts of kindness, and yes.... doing something above and beyond what you normally thought you'd be capable of doing?


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Quotes as I come across them......

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it last forever.” ~~~Lance Armstrong

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer. (Will-Weber's "Voices From the Midpack" chapter.)

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.~~~Denis Watley

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)