On Doing Good
It's not sentimental, cute, or weak, lesser, schmuck-y, or dumb to recognize that YOU, you specifically, are inextricably woven into the fabric of the world around you. Your actions have consequences for others, just as their actions, knowingly, willingly, or otherwise, have concrete consequences for you. Every action on this planet is a hug or a car crash and you cannot escape it. Thoughts on what comes after this world have zero bearing on the impact of your actions, today, on this one. No juvenile mental gymnastics will free you from this arrangement.
You are here. Every moment of every day you have a binary choice. You can pass along the noxious sentiment handed to you from basically everyone, or you can choose to eat it and pass along the neutralized byproduct. That's it. That's your choice. You can live as though you might as well not have, or you can make something, any one thing better. You won't always choose wisely.
But pause once in a while and recognize that you do have a choice. It's the only truly beautiful thing we have here on Earth.
'No Man is an Island'
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne