We have heard the old axioms that change starts within, that to change the world you need to start with "The man in the mirror", that everytime you point a finger at someone there are three more pointing back at you. We have heard these things so often they have become cliche'. Still, they are no less true. If you want to change the world you must first embody that change. You must exemplify the Utopian ideal before Utopia can ever be realized.
How often do we see chronic drinkers lambasting someone else for being a shameless drunk? We see men walking the streets with guns in their waistbands while complaining about how violent times have become. Women complain about the lack of good men in the world while chasing after "Bad Boys". Men complain about how must of the women they meet have been damaged by other men who have mistreated them while leaving our own path of destruction through the female population. We complain about the government yet support it right or wrong. We complain about racism and inequality while telling racists jokes. We complain about discrimination while voting against gay marriage. We rail against legal injustice yet avoid jury duty. This goes beyond hypocrisy. This is the very definition of insanity. Futilely expecting in others what we ourselves do not give.
There is no reason to expect that because you recycle or give money to the homeless or pay your minority employees the same as your Caucasian employees, that everyone will. But if no one does, if you can't even live by your own standards, than no one will. The world will never change. All you can control are your own actions, your own life. If each man took responsibility for himself and strove to change the world through his own actions, the world would change. Instead we sit by waiting for someone else to take the lead.
"I ain't gonna stop 'til they do."
"Well, since everyone else is doing it I might as well do it too."
We are a world of adolescents. No wonder human development, on an emotional level, has progressed so little.
I bitch and complain about how woefully inadequate the school system here in Las Vegas and throughout most of America is, so I supplement the education my son is provided in school with my own. Every night he does three pages from a math workbook I bought at a teacher's supply store, three pages from an English workbook purchased at the same store, and then he reads fifty pages from the novel of his choice. I also make him write stories and most days he only watches an hour or two of television. What sense would it make for me to be bitching about how much TV kids watch these days and how they spend all of their time playing video games if I allowed my son to do the same? That's not hypocrisy. That would be stupidity.
There was a time when I ran through women like I was eating potato chips. At the same time I lamented the fact that most of the women I met were still saddled with baggage from previous relationships that had gone bad, men who abused, neglected, lied, or cheated on them. I would treat them like queens right up until I left them for some other woman and I somehow did not see how I was perpetuating the same cycle I was complaining about. This too was absolute stupidity. I changed. If I hadn't I would still be an idiot for expectaing others too.
When I was a kid I remember sitting on my friend's porch while several of our other friend's talked in tones of utter disgust about how some girl we knew, who used to be a stunning beauty, was now a crack whore or how some hard-ass thug we grew up with was now strung out. They would talk in nostalgic voices about how much the neighborhood had changed, how crack cocaine had devastated the entire hood. Every one of these guys were drug dealers and most of them were frequent cocaine users themselves, but then cocaine isn't the same as crack right? Idiots.
I listen to guys with kids scattered all over the country that they don't support cry about how they grew up without a father. I listen to women who bring strange men home every night complain about their daughter's promiscuity. Drunks beat their kids for drinking. Smokers punish their kids for smoking. Highschool dropouts call their kids losers for following their example. Okay, everyone makes mistakes when they are young, but it is never too late to turn it all around. My mother went back to college at age fifty. My sister was a stripper at one time. She was thirty years old when she joined the military and gave her daughter and who knows how many others a postive role model to look up to. You never know how wide your scphere of influence truly is, how many people are inspired by your example. What do you want that example to be?
Be the change. If you want the world to change start in your own home. Don't complain about childhood obesity while feeding your kids Mcdonalds and letting them sit on the couch for hours at a time playing video games instead of going outside and playing sports. Don't bitch and moan about the amount of gossiping and backstabbing that goes on in your church while calling your friends every night to get caught up on the same gossip. Don't call one group a fanatic when you yourself are so committed to your beliefs that you can't see how you could possibly be wrong.
You want the world to change, the madness to stop, then you have to get the ball rolling. We laugh at the thought of one man changing the world yet when that one man is an evil bastard we readily accept that his influence could spread and infect millions. Good ideas and positive influences can spread too. And cliche' or not it really does only takes one person. You.