The past couple of weeks I keep finding myself asking the question “am I leading by example?” I have been making it a point to be very conscious of really listening to the words of everyone around me and I realize how often people speak about how others “should” be behaving. Sometimes they are speaking about children and sometimes they are speaking about other adults. Their thoughts are usually shared in a very passionate way that expresses how important they feel these qualities are and yet so many actually demonstrate the exact opposite of these qualities in their own daily actions.
Many times I see people post beautiful, inspirational quotes about kindness and loving others and then I observe them in their daily interactions being harsh or judgemental toward someone. Working in a school setting I am amazed at times when I hear adults admonishing children for not being kind or honest or hardworking and then watch as the adults proceed to exhibit those very same behaviors.
I am the first to admit how difficult it can be at times to live the character and ideals that I value so much. There are days when my actions and words are completely in sync with the values and character traits I believe in and then there are the days when I have to step back and see that I have definitely not been “walking my talk”! I know that I am definitely a work in progress! However, I believe that the important point is that I am trying to be aware and conscious so that I am always striving to lead by example in my words and actions. At times this means being brutally honest with myself when I have to own the fact that I haven’t been the role model of my beliefs. As unpleasant as that self truth can be, I also know that it is critically important. How can I ask my friends, family, child and anyone else to lead a life of kindness and integrity if I am not working to do that myself?
It is a definite journey that I travel every day. Some days more successfully than others! I offer the challenge to all of you…are you willing to join me on the journey? Are you willing to honestly examine your daily words and actions and try to LEAD BY EXAMPLE? None of us will be perfect but if we are all honestly trying to live in love and kindness I believe we will be amazed at the changes we will see in our daily lives and communities!