The Oxford dictionary describes consideration as a noun meaning:
1. careful thought, typically over a period of time.
2. a fact or motive taken into account in deciding something.
3. thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards others.
Consideration is probably the characteristic I most value in people, the one I often expect (and I really don’t expect much from people in general) and the one for which I set the highest expectations for myself.
But sadly it seems that these days consideration is something that is fading away. We live in a society that is so self-absorbed, so selfish and so self-centred that we seem to not have the time to take other people, their feelings or how our actions affect them into account.
We drive through red robots because we’re running late. We take the teaspoon out of the office coffee jar because we need it. We eat the chocolate that our partner has been saving and looking forward to eating. We’re rude to the cashier at Pick ‘n Pay because we’ve had a bad day. We ignore the beggar at the robot because ‘we don’t want to see that’. We make rude, nasty and hurtful comments on social media because we don’t have to see the reaction when those words are read. We park in the paraplegic parking spot at the mall because ‘we’ll only be a minute’. We listen with half an ear as our children tell us about their day because we want to catch up on the latest Facebook / Instagram / Twitter feeds. We finish the toilet paper and don’t put a new roll in the bathroom. We make promises that we never intend to keep…
When did our society become all about ‘me’? When did we stop putting ourselves in the shoes of others, taking a minute of our precious time to think about the consequences of our actions, how they make others feel or what battle each person we meet is fighting? When did it become ok to belittle someone because their beliefs are different to yours? When did we start complaining about every little thing that is ‘wrong’ with our lives without even noticing the person standing quietly in the corner, wishing for the very things you grumble about?
What if we all just gave a little more thought, a little more ‘consideration’ to our fellow human beings? What if we left things just a little better for the next person? What if we put someone else’s needs / feelings / options ahead of our own? Just every once in a while? What if we practised consideration so that it became second nature? What if this had a domino effect and the future we create is one of mutual trust, love and understanding? What if our consideration has a butterfly effect that creates a positive change in our lives, in our county, in the WORLD?
What if love isn't the thing that makes the world go 'round... but consideration?