Sunday, February 23, 2014

I was ready to give up and I was given a reminder...

I spend a lot of time guiding others. You could say it is my mission to encourage people to see a positive side and to realize that each of us is in control of our actions, our attitude and our perspective. I do this with my friends online as well as people I come in contact with face to face.

Lately, I have been receiving quite a backlash when I have attempted to raise others up. It was getting to the point that I wanted to just say, "F*** you, I am done." I did not say this, but I nearly said it to myself and had the urge to just walk-away from my mission. I have a personal life. I could easily and selfishly focus on my own happiness. But who would that help? Will it make a difference in this world today if I never attempted to share my knowledge or encouragment? No, it would not make a difference and that is exactly the problem.

I was reminded that there are still others who are willing to understand what it is I teach. If you do not already know this, my local job is teaching children karate. Along with learning how to defend themselves, the kids also learn how to control their bodies, their emotions, their actions and how to give and get respect. Occasionally, a parent asks me to talk to their child about their behavior outside of the karate class. Recently, a parent came to me in this regards.

One of my students had been blatently misbehaving at school, completely ignoring any instructions from his teacher and choosing to do his own thing. He and I sat down privately and had a little chat. He told me the details of recent events at school without putting the blame on anyone else but himself. He is very aware of what he did wrong.

I pointed out to him that obviously no one can MAKE him do anything, he did what he wanted. He agreed. So I asked him if he was a follower or a leader. "I am a leader," he replied.

ME: And as a leader, you have the ability to show others how to give respect and kindness. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone did this?

HIM: There would be no jails. (And that was a clue for me to understand what else he is dealing with.)

ME: That is very possible... What can you do to change this behavior?

HIM: Stop hanging out with these kids. (I assume there is a certain group of "bad" kids he has been influenced by.)

ME: But if you are a leader, you can stop these other kids from doing something wrong or walk away from it, instead of doing the same thing with them. Do you understand?

HIM: *nods* I can help others to be good.

ME: Exactly. One by one we can each make a difference. It begins with you... Now, go join your class.

Thanks to the conversation I had with my student, I am reminded that although we may not be able to change everyone in the world, especially older generations that are sometimes set in their ways; there are younger generations that are learning from us. This was enough for me to want to keep going with my mission.

What are we teaching them? What kind of example are we living while these young impressionable minds are observing us? Is it honest? Is it kind? Our goal is to leave the world better than how we got it, for the sake of younger generations. And they will continue to do so for the next generation after them.

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