“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi
There would have been a day as short as a month ago that I would look at something and explain it or blame it away. For instance, the garbage can is overflowing and I blame it on everyone who keeps piling things on it without dumping it. I would look at work situations and find a system / someone to blame for the problem. Granted most situations have multiple co-existing factors leading to the problem/process – but I am not responsible for everyone else (kids excluded) – I am responsible for my input into the process and my attitude and reaction. I am responsible for the change I want to see….
Today, I ventured into the kids rooms and as I started to clean, part of me wanted to explode thinking “How could THEY not pick that up? How could THEY…. and the list in my head went on for a few seconds and it dawned on me. My thinking needs to be… What can I do, to teach them better to care for their rooms? What have I not done to prepare them to take care of their stuff. What kind of example have I set for them in the way I take care of things… Do you see the shift of thinking – PREPARE to take OWNERSHIP.
In hindsight, I think of arguments – mostly with Mary recently. There are two sides to every story. I always want to prove my side is the correct side and that she doesn’t understand ME. She wants to prove she is right and I don’t understand her. Where does this get us? NO WHERE. When I am headed in the wrong direction in a discussion and harsh words are to be said, tears may occur, etc.. – I need to change the direction by either conceding / agree to disagree or basically say to the other the relationship means too much to me to hurt them and apologize. I have to take OWNERSHIP, apologize for what I contributed to the miscommunication, and ask for forgiveness for MY words and actions. I am not saying that I was wrong/right – by doing this I am saying I LOVE YOU more than this exchange of ugliness. For the things that must be discussed and there is no compromise (i.e. dating age, etc…) it is important to set up the expectations early – I am learning that most of the problems are a result of not setting clear expectations. Also, because I procrastinate getting to promises I made. In my defense I don’t break the promise, but I don’t always do it timely. Once again, I need to OWN that and communicate.
I think of times when I get mad a Jim for something he didn’t do. But I have to assume OWNERSHIP for my piece of the problem. First of all did I communicate my expectation to him that I needed something done? Should he have to read my mind? If I have an expectation I have to tell him. I am great at believing others can read my mind like I do theirs (LOL). Have I ever said “Hey Jim, that really bothers me or annoys me when….” No! I just brew over it and let it get to me. I need to take OWNERSHIP and say Jim it really bothers ME when you do….. Again, accepting MY piece to the problem! If he doesn’t listen, although that is unlikely, then that is a different issue. But if I don’t communicate – he is not responsible for not knowing.
I don’t think Ghandi quotes pertains just to the world – for ME it says “Be the change you want to see in your home, in your family, in your friendships, in your work”. I want to be that change and just maybe by taking OWNERSHIP and stepping up my practices, others may follow the example. And if they do not follow the example, I can still rest in knowing I was / am the change I want to see….