Look in the mirror! Ask yourself the following questions: Who do you see? What makes you who you are? What separates you from the next person? It has to do with the idea of nature versus nurture. The nature being the components of our body given to us at birth and how it affects the way we act in relation to our environment. Nurture deals with how we were raised by our parents; such as the morals, rules, and boundaries that were spoon-fed to us at an early age. As we grow older, the influence shifts away from your immediate family and toward our teachers, peers, friends, media, and our surrounding environment. We eventually realize that we have a very powerful mind and it expands through learning from different people and new experiences. I am sure that most of us have some flaws in our character, attitude, and personality. Sometimes we are aware of them; sometimes we are not. The fact is: Both nature and nurture has contributed to what we have become.
The important distinction between nature and nurture is that we are able to change the nurture, but not the nature. It’s really hard to change the world, but it’s much easier to change ourselves. I would like to share a quote from Jim Rohn, he once said, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Since the world is not going to drastically change nor do we have much control over it, why not improve ourselves and how we see the world? By changing ourselves, we are projecting the better side of us to the world and even those that are influenced by the world.
I believe that we should always do our part and play our role in life. In any type of situation, there are at least two individuals or groups involved. The conflict usually arises when individual/group ‘A’ threatens or harms the individual/group ‘B’, but this would not have resulted in conflict if individual/group ‘B’ just considered the words or actions as gibberish. I understand these conflicts cannot always be avoided, but for the most part they usually are just a misunderstanding that ultimately grows out of proportion. I would now like to share an excerpt from Kent Keith, he said:
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may just never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it’s all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
I really like this quote because it’s ironically true. I also understand that it’s really hard to follow these ideas, but imagine the benefits we would reap if we could just start introducing some of them into our own lives. Implementing small gradual changes will definitely make huge impacts on our lives. I was always aware of these ideas, but acting them out in my life was extremely difficult. Now I am able to see why I should and I would like to share it.
You see, losing the argument is not a big deal if you come out as a bigger person. We have to realize that it’s not really about reputation, but more about character. If we are good role models, people will eventually show respect for us and admire us. Our reputation will completely change. It’s a much better feeling as well; knowing that we acted in the best we could and people praise us for it. Often times, people think about a situation and say, “that’s not fair!” and “that’s not right!” They tend to try and make it right in the most immoral ways. Life’s not fair! It’s not about equality. It’s about playing our role and doing our part. If others want to step on us, we don’t necessarily have to step on them back. You can’t fight fire with fire! There has to be an outside force, whether it’s wind or water. Good is always greater evil! Love will conquer hate! Light will overpower darkness!
I was just telling my mother how I always admired the elderly person in the movies. There’s this scene where a kid throws a rock at an old man’s house window. The old man would laugh because he was once that kid and he finds it amusing. He would not feel the need to set things straight and cause a war. Instead, the old man would actually wish the best for the kid and hope that one day he’ll learn from his actions. That’s the type of role model that motivates and inspires me.
External factors in our environment tend to have an influence on how we react to the situations that arise in everyday life. It affects some people more than others. We are able to see it in teenagers when they are being peer-pressured to become someone that they are not and do not want to become. We should not give others the power to change us into that. Put the control back in our hands! My recommendation is to not only be ourselves, but be the better person that we want to become. The reason is: by keeping a mindset to be ourselves, we place limitations that make it harder to accept any kind of change even if it is beneficial. We will feel as though these changes will make us less of who we are, since whom we are, is how we identify ourselves in the world. We will keep telling ourselves, “This is not me!” Instead, we should be telling ourselves, “This is better for me and this is what I want to become!”
Majority of the time, people will often have reasons for saying or acting the way they do, but people also have the tendency to lug excess baggage around. They might have had a bad day and unintentionally projects it to us. Whatever may be the case; we should always take what is being said or done into consideration and act accordingly. The secret is to not attach significant emotions to the situations because this in turns influences how we react. Don’t let the outside world significantly influence your inner being. In my case, I not only hope to become that old man, but I want to be better!