Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Good a Person Are You?

Every period in a person's life could be graded from A: Makes the world much better TO F: Makes the world much worse.

I believe that the higher a person's lifetime average grade, the more well-led one's life has been.

I use The Report Card (at this point, unconsciously) when I’m unsure how to spend a given hour(s). For example, if a friend invites me to go shopping, instead of reflexively deciding, I might think, "Do I want to do something that would score higher on The Report Card?" I also use The Report Card in evaluating the most recent period of my life or my entire life so far.

Objection: I don’t want to be Mother Teresa.

Response: You set your standards. If for some or even all your hours, you’re satisfied with a grade of C (no negative nor positive impact on the world—for example, tending your flower garden)--so be it. Keeping The Report Card in the back of your mind merely keeps you conscious of your life’s choices. It's a free tool that may help you live the life you want to live.

Objection: I have too little potential for impact to bother with The Report Card.

Response: Even the most mundane of us make a difference--for example, how we treat the Trader Joe’s clerk.

Objection: I don’t want the guilt that keeping track would invoke.

Response: If what you’re doing deserves guilt, mightn’t your being more conscious about your life choices help you to live a life you don’t feel guilty about?

So if you feel The Report Card might have some validity, what would you guess your life’s average daily grade is? Do you want to change it? If so, what do you want to do differently?

Or do you have a better approach to assessing the value of an hour or of your life? Feel free to comment.

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