Always start with YOU

You can’t escape the constant chorus of

‘The world is going to pieces’

‘ People are just not kind anymore’

‘This generation is just so shallow & fickle’

‘Values are not what they used to be ‘

And these are just a few of the sayings that I am also guilty of repeating. I am especially guilty of the ‘shallow & fickle’ one. Every time I get a WhatsApp reply with ‘k’ instead of ‘Ok’ (but really how hard is it to type the extra O ) my eye rolls are at epic proportions at how ‘lazy’ people are getting.And this is from the woman who always blesses the inventor of copy & paste. and uses LOL liberally (to be fair to me though laugh out loud is actually longer than Ok ) .It’s all convenience at the end of the day isn’t it.

Now I am not saying that some of these sayings are totally inaccurate and I do agree that there are loads of things in today’s world that are not that great.And it can overwhelming to think how can one can make a difference.That said ,there is ONE person/thing that we can actually influence/change and that is ourselves. US,ME,YOU.

Michael Jackson was not really a philosopher but the lyrics to his song ‘Man in the mirror’ sure did have a lot of truth to it. One of the ways we can change the world around us is by starting with person staring back at us in the mirror.

Who is the man/woman staring back at you from the mirror? Have you asked that person how they contribute to making the world better or worse? I find that we often ask of others what we might have not even asked of ourselves. For most of the things that we see as issues in the world today,there is an human element.

And let’s just try to imagine how the world would be if every human asked themselves how they affect the world around them. The truth is we often leave it to others. The government,the institutions,the police in short everyone else.We often see solutions as a collective issue. And yes there are a lot of issues that have to be solved as a collective,that’s how humans evolved and made so many advances ; our ability to collaborate to find solutions to the issues that face us all.

However on a micro and personal level how can we step up by making sure that all our individual actions are not part of what make up the problem in the first place?

For example ; do you complain about how dirty the streets are when you also throw your empty Sprite can out of your car window?

There are so many ways that we can challenge ourselves to do better. I know better is always subjective however there is a universal principle for measuring better that cuts across creed,beliefs etc. For me that core principle is ‘Treat others as you would want to be treated’

I love the quote above by Maya Angelou and have taken to hear this phrase; always confront yourself! And I love the part about understanding because sometimes we might have come to an understanding about an issue that others have not yet come to. We also have to realise that sometimes doing better requires courage which is often easier said than done. I can’t muster up the courage for someone else to do the right thing. But I can challenge myself to do the right thing even if I am afraid.This realisation allows you to give grace to others and look a little closer at yourself in the bigger picture.

The saying;’when you know better you do better’ is what I think of and often leads to me asking myself ,is if I can complain about it then I know better and so if I know better am I doing better?

You can’t complain about the world being less kind when you are not showing kindness. For every thing that we moan about in the world and in others,we need to confront ourselves with these questions ;

Is this really an ‘issue’ or is it perceived?

Am I adding or taking away from this issue if it is not just a perception?

If I am not taking it away how can I (operative word I) do something about it in my own way? If I can’t do anything about it on my own how can I try not to add to the problem?

Take my example of dirty streets or roads,of course the cleaning of road is up to authorities i.e local govt and not individuals. I cannot just pick up a broom and start sweeping the roads if it is not my job to do so but I can put whatever rubbish I generate in the bins. If I want to even go a step further,where there are no bins I can make the conscious effort to take the rubbish all the way home to make sure it’s disposed of properly. So I might not be responsible for cleaning the roads but I can play my part in not adding to the litter on the street.

My challenge to us all is as we go about our daily endeavours is to be the change we seek to see in the world. I know it’s such a cliche but sometimes cliche’s are actually accurate. If there is something that particularly bothers you before just moaning about it,confront yourself on how you can make this thing better in your own little way in your own little corner of the world.

As always I am so appreciative that you have taken the time to read this blog.Comments and shares are welcome

With lots of love

Oyindamola

Quotes picture credit -Pinterest

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