Be a Better Person Today

a co-worker watching a man flirting with a woman in an office

It’s been a little bit since my last blog post, but I’m back to writing after a much-needed vacation. For today’s topic, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a quick way to make yourself into a better person. Today’s idea: always behave as if someone were watching you.    

What Do You Mean, Better? 

We all do things in private that we would never do in public. Some of these may be trivial: eating something that fell on the floor or not using a coaster (a capital offense in my home), for example. But some things that we do when we think no one is looking erode our integrity at its core. This could be something more along the lines of lying on a job application or cheating on your significant other. Put a different way, it’s the things we do when we think we won’t get caught that truly define our character. We are all guilty of this to some degree.

The little “white lies” we tell others, or the ways we cut corners to achieve a result may seem innocent enough. However, even the seemingly harmless fibs or shortcuts we take can easily form a slippery slope to more grave offenses. Thus, before you make your next morally dubious decision ask yourself: “What would I do If someone were watching me right now?” 

How Does This Make Me a Better Person? 

When we behave as if someone were watching us, we invariably think twice about our actions. For instance, if you knew your spouse was watching you, would you flirt with that new cute coworker? Or if you knew your mother was watching, would you park in a handicapped spot even if it’s “just for a few minutes?” Clearly, having someone watch us makes us feel accountable to others. We adjust our behavior when we are being observed. Often, we behave better when we feel under the public eye.   

Now, this is certainly easier to illustrate for more egregious situations like cheating on your taxes or your spouse. But I would like to challenge you to behave this way for the more mundane and minor moral quandaries in your life. I am talking about times when you may want to leave a shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot, or you realize the cashier gave you too much change.  

Many of us have been tempted to do the wrong thing in these situations (that is not bringing the cart back to the corral, or not returning the extra change to the cashier—in case you were wondering). But again, if you behaved as if someone whose judgment and approval you valued were watching you, you most likely would behave better.   

Good + Good = Better 

Again, we are all guilty from time to time of doing something at least slightly immoral out of convenience or for our own gain. While these may seem innocent enough in certain cases, over time these minor transgressions add up to eventually take a toll on our character. The slippery slope analogy can be a bit cliché, there is some truth to it.  Namely, when we become comfortable with seemingly trivial misbehavior, it does over time become easier to make more serious incursions. Not that parking in a handicapped spot one time means that you are definitely going to someday run over a grandma in an attempt to beat a red light, but it does slowly chip away at your character.

The good news is that if we start behaving better a little at a time, we will find that all those good decisions lead us to be better. It all starts when we behave as if someone were watching us.    

Better Yourself Today 

Well, it’s good to be back and writing to you all. I hope this gives you some food for thought this Fall, in between all the pumpkin-flavored food items on the menu.   

I would love to hear your feedback by using the Contact Us button at the top of the page. Let me know what moral issues you might have dealt with recently, or if you need further advice on how to put this blog into practice.  

For more advice on how to improve your life in general, please read my book by clicking Buy the Book also located at the top of the page. I talk a lot more about other strategies that can make us better people. As always, don’t forget to leave a good review on Amazon. Until the next post!