Be A Step Ahead of Social Conventions

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We live our lives based on social conventions where we want some sort of relationship, no matter how fleeting it is, before we want to help someone.  I know that I’m guilty of this mentality.  Do you have an internal monologue that goes something like this: “What? You want my help? You want to inconvenience me? Ugh. I don’t really know you OR you haven’t gone through the right channels to be able to ask for that.”  This is typical and no one would be surprised if you thought that way when a stranger asked for a favor.  Dr. Cialdini, professor at the University of Arizona even talks about the importance of reciprocity.

I want to challenge you to be better than the social convention.  When someone asks you for a favor, why not decide to be the first one to extend a helping hand?  Do it without any expectation of the person.  Do it cheerfully and help wholeheartedly.  Do it even when you don’t have a relationship with that person.  Decide to be the positive influence in someone’s day.  You never know, your actions could change someone’s life.
Photo by LiminalMike

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2 Responses to Be A Step Ahead of Social Conventions

  1. Vidya A. March 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Not adopting a “holier-than-thou” attitude here, but mayhap this is one area where Asian cultures and conventions prevail, we don’t think twice about extending a helping hand when somebody wants/needs a favour (note use of British spelling 😉 it, and it’s usually done with a cheerful smile. If anything, I believe we are guilty of not knowing how to say “No” ;).

  2. Nan Palmero March 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    I think we have much to learn from Asian cultures and that we’re just uninformed about the beliefs. Thank you for stopping by, Vidya and keep up the good work!

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