To change anything, we must start by changing ourselves. Changing others, our family, our community, our political or planetary environment and the world, all must start with changing ourselves.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Let’s start by hearing a voice from almost a thousand years ago.
“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.” –Written by an unknown Monk around 1100 A.D.
This piece of timeless wisdom should guide all of us in what we do to today. The only person we can change is ourselves, and the only person others can change is themselves. And until we get that, life will be deeply frustrating, and filled with the cancer of blaming others.
Imagine for a moment that politicians followed the monk’s thousand year old wisdom. That would be worlds apart from the blamefest that is politics at all levels today. And the other side of the blamefest coin is refusing to accept accountability for anything that goes sideways. All while loudly claiming credit for everything that happened to turn out well.
Let’s take a look at the steps, the New Year’s Resolutions, if you will, that if we follow cannot help but to change ourselves in a way that will benefit everyone around us. Yes, even including politicians.
Start with a Moral Compass. Needing a moral compass is a recurring theme for those of us at Revolution 2.0™. If we don’t have a solid moral compass that we follow, then nothing else matters. Nothing. We will simply be corks on the oceans of life, following the changing paths of the tides, currents and waves. I know; I have been there. And I still have to fight to stay with and strengthen my adherence to my moral compass.
What are some examples of an effective moral compass? And how do you know? Two things: 1. Your north, your compass, has to be something born and fueled outside of us–with externally inspired values, goals and checkpoints. The danger is that our internally generated principles may lull us into a false sense of commitment. There must be an outside entity to learn from, and to act as a touchstone–a place to check in to see how we are handling ourselves. This does not mean that you don’t need to internalize the external teachings and examples; all is certainly lost if we don’t. But it is equally certain that it cannot be just us. 2. That outside entity must be powerful enough to keep us on track even when it is hard. If our north’s power and influence in our life is weak, so will be our adherence to it.
What are some examples where both criteria are met? God comes immediately to mind. My belief is that there is more than one way to God; Christ is mine. As an example, my moral compass is Jesus Christ. Whatever your path, God meets both criteria; He is both external and powerful. Depending upon your path to God, the writings, religious leaders, ceremonies, legacies, etc. will be different, but each path has its external–and powerful–teachings, values and inspirations.
What is your moral compass, and what does it mean to you? Please respond in the comments; I am interested. As are others.
Being Your Brother’s Keeper. Q. “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” A. Yes. There is no other answer. Let’s pause for some definitions:
- “Brother” means any human on the planet other than you. All of our brothers and sisters everywhere. In Genesis, God asked Cain where his slain brother, Abel, was. Cain responded, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” God’s response was telling, “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Perhaps unwittingly, Cain was asking a question much broader than simply his responsibilities to his brother, Abel. And God answered equally broadly. We do not have to murder someone to fail in our responsibility to them. Simply ignoring them can be just as damaging. Even if we don’t know them.
- “I” means you and me; no one else–not “them” or taxpayers or the state. Us. You and me.
Attendant to being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers is Personal Responsibility–another key Revolution 2.0™ belief. All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
Let’s have some fun by way of making a point. Does antifa have a moral compass? Are they their brother’s keepers? Does the BLM Movement, the avowed Marxist organization, not the well-meaning people in the streets, take personal responsibility?
What is Nancy Pelosi’s moral compass? Or Mitch McConnell’s?
Before we go, remember that it is all on us. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” -Walt Kelly speaking through Pogo, a swamp possum in the eponymous comic strip which ran from 1948 to 1975.
Now, for my/our New year’s Resolution; I will say it slowly, so feel free to substitute your name as we go along. “I, Will Luden, resolve to make things better by changing myself, how I think and what I believe. I know that whether I intend to lose weight or change the world, it all starts with me. I will discover or rediscover my moral compass, being both grateful that I have one worthy of following, and dedicated to following it with all my heart. I will practice both personal responsibility and being my brother’s keeper. And when I fall away, I will immediately re-resolve, secure in the knowledge that overall progress, not perfection, is the goal.”
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.