What you choose to do in the absence of others


What do you do when you know no-one is watching?

Are you less inhibited, less kind, less tame? Do you do the “right thing” less?

Perhaps not, perhaps the awareness of others has no bearing on you’re actions. And if that is so.. I commend you.

However it hasn’t been my experience.

Sure, there’s a part of me that feels fulfilled when I’ve done good for the sake of doing it. Yet theres also that other guy.. the guy who is concerned with how he’s appearing.. the guy that also really enjoys being “bad”.

While I believe both “guys” (the shadow and the light) have their place in every healthy human being.

I’ve always looked up to the men in my life who do “good” when there’s no-one to tally up their right doings.

Imperfect men, who do incredible things.

I’ve been fortunate to have been raised by two fathers, one birth father (Samuel), and one who came into my life when my mother and father divorced at age ten. (Mark)

While both men, aren’t without flaw and shadow, they are what I consider to be at their core..

Good.

They love with courageous, open, and loving hearts. They do what is right when it’s hard, when it’s fruitless, and when it means endlessly sacrificing for the ones they love.

I’m reminded of times when I was younger seeing Mark, shovel out our elderly neighbors driveway in the blistering cold. Generously tipping every waiter and waitress who served us, waking up at 5am to go labor in the field so that our house was warm, and we were provided for.

Samuel, who in the midst of losing everything, his marriage, his business and his home didn’t waiver. Who in times of financial struggle, sleeping in a one room apartment, with just enough money to meet his basic needs, still managed to provide for his kids. Still managed to show up for his son and daughter with support love and guidance.

I’m not illusioned in thinking I’ll be a perfect man, I know that there will always be times when I’ll slip, hurt, and sin.

Yet I will strive to be good.

To pick up the broken pieces, to love courageously, and without expectation of a future payback.

In my eyes, committing to doing so, is committing to greatness.

-Dan