Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Be the Change

       Earlier today as I crossed a parking lot I noticed a man struggling with an arm full of groceries as he was trying to get a rebellious shopping cart to cooperate. I told him I'd take it back into the store for him. He asked, "You need it?" I said, "No, just picking up my license that I dropped inside the other day. But I'll park it for you." He replied, "Wow! Thanks darlin'. Not many nice people nowadays. Especially taking one look at me." I smiled at him and his matching girlfriend and told them it was no problem at all. He had no idea that his metalhead look was something I actually admired. I grabbed the shopping cart and said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." They both gave a hearty "F*** yeah!" complete with metal hands. I threw up a metal sign and went on my way with a smile. I don't know if the couple I saw earlier today would have helped me had they seen me struggling. All I know is they were struggling and needed a hand.
       A couple of months ago I was visiting a dear friend. I was heating up my coffee in the microwave. When I had the mug in my hand I swung the microwave door closed and it smacked into the mug breaking it off of the handle and spilling coffee all over her counter and onto her very expensive cellphone and tablet. I began to apologize over and over as I cried in frustration because not only was I embarrassed at my klutzy self but also at the fact that I cannot replace these things. My beautiful friend said "Honey, calm down. It's just stuff. We can always fix or replace stuff, we cannot replace people. Don't ever think I'd be mad at you over stuff." This woman not only reassured me of my own value to her but also her honor.
       The way we treat people should not be based on anything other than how we would like to be treated. Even if we're not being treated in a kind way. If a person is polite only to polite people does that really make him polite and kind? If a person is only generous to generous people does that really make him generous? Is someone truly honest if they are only honest with honest people? Does that mean that they lie to only liars? And if so, does that really make it okay? No, no, and no.
       People are so damned justified in everything they do. Tit for tat all day long. This is one of the many things wrong with society. There is such a lack of humanity in humanity it sickens me. Please, do not think me some righteous person as I am just as guilty as anyone else. Because I am aware of my ethological flaws I hold myself at an impossible standard which I always fall short of. I often ask myself "If I wasn't such a terrible liar would I lie more often?" I am honest to a fault and it often bites me in the ass. But would I be so honest if I were more gifted at deception? I honestly don't know. My convictions are strong. There's no denying that. However there are times when I wish I could just not care. But I do care. And since becoming a mother I care now more than ever.
       As a mother I aim to teach my children the lesson of honor. And you see, that's what is lacking in this fast paced world. Honor. My lessons to my children are simple:

  • Always tell the truth. Even if you're afraid of getting in trouble or hurting someones feelings. 
  • Be kind to people even if they are not kind to you. Don't let the bitterness of another person sour you.
  • Follow your heart. Your brain is important however it is your heart that will never lie to you. You may not get the results you want but you'll have certainty in your decisions. 
  • Give with a happy heart or don't give at all. If you give out of obligation that does not make you generous. And when you give don't look for anything in return. We give to give, simple as that. 
  • Humility is honorable. Arrogance and vanity are damaging. 
  • Dignity and pride are two different things. We must learn the difference. 
  • It's okay to not agree with someone and to not like someone. Just because people are seemingly nice doesn't mean everyone is going to be friends. Tolerance and acceptance are key. 
  • Give love freely even if it's not returned the way we hope. To love someone is a beautiful thing. Just don't be a doormat. 
There's a lot more but I'm running out of steam and I keep mistyping. The point is that somewhere among the technology, the wage earning, the instant gratification, and the constant entertainment we have forgotten how to live and how to treat one another. For such an advanced species at the top of the food chain no less we have become more and more primitive as our attitudes have basically come down to every man for himself. The sad part though is that not many people are willing to start the change we so desperately need. We think we are guarding ourselves when what we're really doing is disconnecting from our better selves. We're so quick to point a finger at one another not realizing there's fingers pointed at us as well. We need to change within ourselves in order to see a real change. It's not easy and the results may not be seen for another two generations but if we really try there will be results that will have been worth the effort.
       My philosophy is simple, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Okay, so it's Gandhi's philosophy, not mine, but I've adopted it. Even though I struggle with the people of today it's refreshing and heart healing to know that there are a precious few that strive to be the change.

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