Too often I suppose I complain about all the haters out there in the world and all the bigots and racists and oppressors and so on. And sometimes I am reminded of something Mohandas K. Gandhi once said, namely “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This is very similar in spirit to what was written in Peter’s first letter. 1 Peter 3:10-11.
We have to be responsible for our thoughts before they become speech and before speech becomes action. We must strive to change ourselves if we ever hope to be positive role models for others, especially children. We must seek to make peace and defend it and protect it by first finding and making peace in ourselves. We cannot hope to inspire others to do the right thing or follow a better moral compass if we are still holding on to bad habits or allowing ourselves to be so easily tempted to do the very things we seek to put an end to in others.
If we wish to put a stop to violence, we must first put an end to our own violent tendencies and feelings and thoughts. If we wish to put an end to racism or bigotry, we must first change our own hearts and be more open to diversity and inclusiveness. If we seek to end greed, we need to deny our own desires to have more than we need or earned.
And there comes a point where we then must take action by being the positive role models and by taking a stand for equality, fairness, justice, generosity, compassion, humanity, and peace.