I had always looked at the quote and thought that it meant that I should be someone different – an environmental leader or political activist – someone that I’m not.
What I didn’t realize is the “Be the change you want to see” means something much more do-able and concrete than I realized. It refers to the power of example – which has been driven home to me by parenthood.
When my words and tone started to come out of my daughter’s mouth – and I didn’t like how it sounded – shaming and manipulative (if you do this..), I realized that it wasn’t her that needed to change. It was me.
To have peace and kindness in my family, I have to live it.
To have respect, I have to give it.
To be listened to, I have to whole-heartedly listen.
It’s not always easy – old habits can be hard to break, but I’m starting to become aware of the power of my example. You might be surprised how powerful you are too.
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
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