Is There Something You Do That Others Would Consider Harmful?

It is no secret that different people often have conflicting opinions. What one person might consider the right course of action, another might think wrong, or even harmful.

With that in mind, are there actions you have taken that others have disagreed with? Disagreed with so strongly, in fact, that a friend or a family member considered what you were doing to be dangerous?

Harmful, in this context, can mean many things.

One possibility is to be harmful to yourself. If you do something that puts your life, or some part of it, at risk, that might be considered harmful to you. This might include doing something that puts your job or your livelihood at risk. It might also mean risking physical harm, as well.

A second possibility is to risk the relationships or the even the lives of people around you. For example, someone might consider you a bad parent if you permit your child to participate in risky behavior (even if it is done in a controlled way).

Yet another type of harmful behavior might include something potentially damaging to the environment. This might include something as simple as not recycling, or something like driving an older, polluting car.

Naturally, differences of opinion may very well be at the heart of some of disagreements. Someone might believe eating meat is harmful (it’s certainly harmful to the animals being eaten), but someone else might simply view that as part of natural life: animals eat other animals.

Is there any behavior you have participated in that someone else considered harmful? Did you come to regret your actions, or do you feel they were justified? Or some of both?

Related questions: What do you do that you shouldn’t? How do you judge yourself? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? When should you criticize someone?

1 thought on “Is There Something You Do That Others Would Consider Harmful?”

  1. Rebecca and I like to travel a lot compared to most people. Our travel almost always involves getting on an airplane. We usually go someplace together for a more extended period (i.e., this year, we are going to some Greek islands). We also each travel someplace apart (i.e., this year, my trip is to Budapest and Prague). Some years, we also take shorter a getaway together. We are still determining if we will do this, but last year involved a shorter trip to New York City.

    Admittedly, international travel increases our carbon footprint considerably. In fact, some people, when I talk about my/our trips, I some people who cannot do this — for example, because they don’t have the resources or because traveling with kids makes trips abroad tricky and very expensive — have pointed out that they almost always travel within the United States, and almost always drive. As a side and perhaps a defensive comment, they note that they are making less of an impact on the environment.

    It surprises me when people raise this issue. But, of course, it is true.

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