Do I care? Do I think before speaking or acting?
Another way of phrasing question 1 is: am I a caring person? Naturally, we all have differing levels of care about everything under the sun, but the focus here is on caring for other people. Meaning, caring about people in general . . . their feelings and needs, their overall well-being. We certainly have affinities for and felt connections to some more than others, but there is the phenomenon of simply having a caring concern for all others. Why else would people risk their lives aiding total strangers in times of trouble, a flood, for instance?
If one considers oneself a genuinely caring person, the ensuing step is to put the brain in gear before speaking or acting by asking: is what I am about to say or do a caring word or action? A person who cares about others will want to say and do those things that build up instead of tear down . . . enliven and support instead of dishearten and undermine. The key word is THINK . . . THINK about the likely effect of my behavior . . . before I do the behaving.
Taking time to think about it before cutting someone off in traffic, or flipping the bird to someone who cuts you off, or shouting an obscenity at a family member, or ridiculing a disabled person, or beating the tar out of a child for mild misbehavior to mitigate one’s own frustration, or communicating distain for the clothing or hair style of another . . . taking time to think just might (should) change said behaviors.
The evening news is what it is because either people do not care, or they think they care but don’t think before speaking and acting in uncaring ways. The only way I can change the world is to change myself. So daily I need to remember that I really do care . . . and that my words and actions need to evidence such.