This Latin phrase, mostly known for having to do with medicine, means “First do no harm.

Typically people don’t do things that don’t benefit them in some way. We’re all looking for results. Favorable ones. Whether it’s volunteering at the local soup kitchen or purposely hurting someone’s feelings, it’s the feeling we get from the act that is the driving force of our actions. If there is no benefit, we humans rarely act. We are all human though and therein lies the problem. We often act without thinking, are selfish, have formed bad habits, and the list goes on.

Of course the world would be such a better place if first we were intentional about doing no harm. Most of us try, I know, but sometimes I don’t think we realize just what we do. You might be surprised at just how thoughtless we’ve become when it comes to how we treat others. Oftentimes we may find it’s those closest to us and those we feel we love the most that we actually harm the most.

Here is a challenge. I challenge all of my readers to go through the day and be intentional about doing no harm. Think before you act. Analyze. Pause. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you do no harm for a day. For some it will be easy and automatic, and for others it will take much forethought and dedication. Some of us may get an unpleasant surprise today.

If you have the courage, report back. If you experience one of those “Wow! What was I thinking?” moments, share. I doubt there will be much sharing, but sometimes it’s our shortcomings that make us feel normal. We all make mistakes. Hopefully we can learn from those mistakes.

Share with a friend or friends you feel might appreciate the idea.

How often did you have to alter your actions today, or maybe not act at all, in order to do no harm?