a strong foundation

read more Wednesday, July 4, 2012; 10:22 AM
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How easy it is to forget that we are responsible for the world around us. We get busy, frustrated, angry - over smaller and smaller things. We don't take the time to think about the big picture or to consider our actions and words with regard to the future.

Remember your actions, words, and thoughts change the world. If you are a parent, this is especially true. Your child absorbs everything about you. They become the embodiment of your most positive and negative attributes. If you are constantly complaining about the state of things, of you are regularly angry or hateful, if you are depressed all the time... this is what your child will become. Some might say that this is a good thing. I don't want my child to embrace the things I loathe or disapprove. I hear you. But, display too much negativity and what you may get is a child that may or may not follow in your footsteps - but whom will be a negative person.

Even if you are not a parent, the way you behave in public has an impact on any children who observe you. Therefore, you are not exempt from controlling yourself. You have as much responsibility to children in your environment as their parents. Disagree? If a child you did not know was in imminent danger, would you do nothing? For most normal people, the answer is no. You would try to protect any child from harm. It's built into us. Your actions and words play a role in every child's well-being.

We are hard-wired to observe and learn. It's how our brains developed. So, you do not have to be a parent to influence the development of children around you. What a child observes in you has an effect. Wouldn't you want that effect to be a positive one? Wouldn't you like our future generations to be better than we are? To be kinder, more considerate, more thoughtful? To be better than cattle, simply following whatever they are told to do - to instead be a generation of thinkers, who follow leaders because they truely believe in them after careful consideration of all the options?

Then it is completely our responsibility (parents and non-parents, alike) to give each generation a strong foundation for positive growth. I want our future to be filled with people who are compassionate, who are not only successful with money and technology, but are also successful in their emotional and psychological development. As such, I take responsibility for myself. I choose to manage my anger, to (try to) withhold my resentments, to think before I speak or do any negative things.

If I am wrong, if my actions have a negligible, or even a zero, impact on anyone else around me (child or otherwise), then I have, at least, lived a life of which I can be proud. Maybe, just maybe, I will be remembered for happiness and kindness, rather than anger and hatred. That's got to be worth something.