Yesterday, I unknowingly forgot to set my alarm. Before you groan in sympathy, I’ll cut the suspense–it all worked out. I woke up on my own at 7:15am. I was not late for my 9:30am class and I even had enough time to sleep a little more, eat some breakfast and put in my contact lenses — my favorite, albeit more time consuming, form of eyewear.
This was a MAJOR win for the day. It wasn’t that the rest of my day was bad, it’s just that some days, avoiding disaster by accident gets to be the highlight.
There was one other win for the day, which was that I had enough time to bike to and from campus, and I participated in a one-mile walk around campus to kick off the month of Walk-tober. More of that in another post.
I write about these two, fairly mundane aspects of my day because I’m going to tell you why they represent ways I improved society, which is the topic for this week. As a result of accidentally waking up on time, I was not late to class, which meant I didn’t disrupt my classmates or miss any of the class content. Being late and missing stuff can have rippling negative effects on my own stress levels, my peers’ class experience, and the future work that I do that might suffer due to missed information. None of these things would be a disaster, but it is more constructive to avoid them and constructiveness, by definition, builds something up.
The argument for biking and exercising holds a little more water. By biking to campus, I got exercise and saved some gas, which is good for my body, my wallet and the environment. Participating in the mile walk helped me meet some people, which was just a pleasant experience. I know more from meeting people than I knew before and I walked a mile, which is even more good movement for my body. Also endorphins = happier me, and I had more energy yesterday evening than I would have if I hadn’t exercised, which helped me in drafting this blog post last night. You are now reading the fruits of this extra energy, which helps you make knowledge (a la Week 3).
For me, improving society needs to be this simple. I need to count my small actions that, at the very least, avoid actively making the world around me worse, as a way that I improve society. It’s easy to see why some people might have a hard time thinking that this counts toward really making a difference. But if I personally thought that way, I might never get out of bed in the morning.
I think that this is probably the kind of librarian I’ll be. I’ll come to work every day, do my part, and look for how the little things I do help the people around me. If that creates some bigger change or social improvement, great! But in the mean time, keeping goals achievable is just fine with me.