Social Question

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you had to exit this world today, do you think you've left it a better place than when you entered it?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36545points) June 8th, 2011

Just musing on life in general. Have you had a positive effect on this place?

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32 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

You bet. I gave it KatawaGrey!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

You’re damned right I have!!! ;)

Jude's avatar

Most definitely.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m probably neutral lol. I didn’t do anything great, but I didn’t mess anything up either.

tom_g's avatar

Depends on what we’re talking about. Despite the fact that I have attempted to have a relatively-low environmental footprint, my existence has most likely been a negative to the environment. Having been born and raised in the US, this is inevitable.

Great question. I am having a difficult time answering it. I keep typing and deleting. I’ll keep this in my mind for awhile and see where it goes.

YoBob's avatar

Yep, but I ain’t done yet (God willing).

Coloma's avatar

Yes.
I have raised a bright, motivated and caring daughter, have been a loving steward of animals and wildlife, my humor makes others laugh and I feel I have lived a good life and do my best to not cause harm, making a difference where I can.

I just put down my kitty last night after tending him for the last few weeks during a terminal illness, I am grateful I was able to give him a wonderful life this last 8 months and his gift to me was another lesson in deepening compassion for all sentient beings.

marinelife's avatar

I think so.

Hibernate's avatar

I’d like to think so .. I have to ask my family and friends and see what they have to say about this ^^

ucme's avatar

In the big scheme of things, just a mere drop in the ocean.
Oh but what a beautiful, exclusive, awesome ocean I sailed in.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

All great answers and thanks. Coloma, that was something else. I’m sorry you had to take care of the little guy that way.

tom_g's avatar

@Hibernate – I was tempted to say that I have made the world better for my friends and family. However, it might be the way that I’m interpreting the question, but I’m not sure this would be sufficient (to ask family and friends). I’m thinking that it’s possible to assess what effect our existence has had on the world by honestly determining things like our effect on the environment, what kind of actions have been taken on our behalf and whether or not we have exerted sufficient energy to either support or stop such actions, etc.

Risking the Godwin’s law thing, let me look at Hitler (because it’s easy). He may have made the life of his friends and family better. The world for them was probably better. If he was to answer this question, we’d probably call him out on the fact that it can’t be a mere perception – it should be something objective.

I’m still working this one out (in between writing some fascinating code here at work).

Jude's avatar

@ucme psssh. You would have left it a better place for your kidlets. :) That’s a big deal.

ucme's avatar

@Jude They were included in my ocean as a matter of course yes ;¬}

picante's avatar

On balance, yes. I believe that my carbon footprint is not ideal (looking to correct that by not exiting today), but I believe that my impact on people has been very positive. And a few critters have benefited from my brief visit.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, and I’m not done yet! : D

Cruiser's avatar

Most definitely! I have given this world two very fine young men who will continue in my legacy of greatness!!

Mariah's avatar

I don’t know. I have used up a lot of resources. The blood bank is out 11 units because of me. And I don’t know that I have done anything significantly good enough, yet, to neutralize all of that. I don’t even know if the people who know me are better off for my being around. My health problems certainly cause my parents a lot of anxiety. I have a few friends who I think I’ve impacted in a good way. I think about this a lot. I hope I still have a long time to reverse that. I am almost eligible to donate blood; I just need to gain weight at this point. That is very important to me; in my life I want to at least replace what I’ve taken. And I hope to do useful things with my life that will hopefully do good things for the world.

gailcalled's avatar

The older I get, the more I try to affect my mini-cosmos in a beneficial way. I support two environmental funds in honor of family members, I recycle, I buy clothing (when possible) from a second-hand rose shop), I have a small vegetable garden, I donate to to causes that sustain the planet.

I compost, I have a friend cut my hair, I combine all errands that require a car into one trip/week when possible, I use the library for books, CDs, and DVDs, I am giving away some of my “stuff” whenever I can find a willing recipient, I eat lower on the food chain, I ration my water use, I take care of my health so I see the doctor rarely.

I watch the younger generation in my immediate family living similar lives and I expect that their children will do the same.

This balances out, I hope, the thougthless and egocentral profligacy of my youth.

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma: From W. H. Auden for you and Marley.

IIN MEMORIAM L K-A 1950 – 1952

At peace under this mandarin, sleep, Lucina,
Blue-eyed Queen of white cats: for you the Ischian wave shall
weep.
When we who now miss you are American dust, and steep
Epomeo in peace and war augustly a grave-watch keep.

(Ischia is a Greek island where Auden was then living when his cat, Lucina, died. Epomeo is the volcano there. Mandarin is an orange tree.)

everephebe's avatar

Well, I’ve made life more interesting for a few…
Better though? I don’t know, meh, I’m pretty karma neutral currently.

gailcalled's avatar

edit; “egocentric profligacy”

flutherother's avatar

We are all doing our share in making the world a worse place and I am thinking of pollution, overcrowding, destruction of natural habitats and war but I hope I have made it less worse than I might have done.

On the positive side I have lit up a few lives, been kind where I could and I have raised two very nice kids.

tinyfaery's avatar

I really don’t think my one, little insignificant life will or even could leave a lasting impact on the world, let alone a “good” one, whatever that means. I don’t think like that. I am nothing, as are we all, but tiny specs in a vast nothingness.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

MissAnthrope's avatar

I feel the same way as @tinyfaery. I really haven’t done much of significance, at least nothing of permanence and nothing much in the grand scheme of things. I may have some positive impact on my small world, amongst those who know me. All I can do is get up every day and attempt to be an ambassador for Good, to be a positive, tolerant, and compassionate force in the world. Most days it feels like spitting in the sea, but I’m happy if I can make a small or positive difference in one person’s life.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes. I have three beautiful, lovely, intelligent children. I have worked with people who are less advantaged than me. My job for the last 10 years has helped a lot of people reach their goals and more importantly I think and hope, believe they can.

I remember thinking after my dad died, how well respected and loved he was by his family, colleagues and friends. He didn’t do anything that would be considered ground breaking by many people’s terms, but he touched people and he helped people to live better lives and to love themselves more. His achievements made me think that no matter what we do in life, it is the impact we have on others that really marks our success while we were here. If I can achieve a little of what he did, I will have made a worthwhile contribution to the planet.

Berserker's avatar

When I die, generations will curse my name for years to come. I’ll leave my mark upon this world like a wound that just won’t heal, I’ll have left a stream of black angry clouds to haunt every eye corner, and even the angels won’t visit my grave.
I’ll have done my work, and be glad.

My grandma would totally slap me if she read that and thought I was serious. But nah, I won’t have done anything nor positive or negative to change anything. At least not yet…muahahahacough.

Bellatrix's avatar

lol@symbeline… you make me giggle (with fear of course!!!).

augustlan's avatar

I hope I’ve had a positive impact on my little corner of the world, and I hope that those I’ve influenced will spread their own positivity a little farther than I have. Mainly, I’m thinking of my children.

I also like to think that sites like Fluther help all of us make someone’s life a little better, even if they’re half a world away.

gailcalled's avatar

@MissAnthrope: If enough people spit in the sea, it will raise the water level and float the ship off the rocks.

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