Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why "What's Mine Is Yours"?

I was thinking today about why I decided to title this blog "What's Mine Is Yours." I realized that the answer was given to me yesterday. My family and I were skiing at Okemo, our family mountain since I was seven years old. Okemo and Ludlow (the surrounding village) are a second home to me--literally--as we have a house in town. We were on our way to lunch at the Sugar House lodge which is located about halfway up the mountain. We always eat here, hanging our lunch outside and picking it up on the way in. There are lots of racks outside the lodge for people to put their skis when they take them off and head inside. Inevitably, however, many individuals (including members of the mountain's ski team) leave their skis lying on the ground, sort of stepping out of them and walking away into the lodge. They don't pick them up and put them on the rack, they just leave them. Of course, this causes a big mess as the abandoned skis multiply and get in the way of conscientious skiers trying to ski down to the rack to store their gear appropriately. This year, as I observed this mess, I also saw a new sign posted on the hill that asked people to please use the racks to store their skis. As far as I could tell, this sign didn't mean much of anything. So, what does this have to do with "What's Mine Is Yours"? A lot, actually. Because this small example made me realize that every action of mine affects your life, and vice versa. Everything on this Earth--our goods, our actions, our words--really belong to all of us. I am individually and globally responsible for the well-being of others and everything I do has a tidal wave of effects. Yesterday, I wanted to say something to the young ski-team members as they left their skis in the middle of the slope, but I was encouraged not to. While this was probably a good idea, as I can be a little over-zealous in the midst of my anger, part of me wishes I had. It seems a small thing--leaving your skis in the middle of a slope instead of putting them away isn't a bad thing--your not breaking a law or hurting anyone. But, you know what, it's still wrong, and every person who left their skis there knew it. In my mind, it doesn't matter how small the wrong is because wrong will only breed wrong. If we allow ourselves to look the other way when something is wrong, it becomes a habit and habits easily invade our thoughts and alter our future actions. Do what's right in the small everyday actions of your life. We need to make "right" the habit because what's mine is yours.

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