Our responsibility as a role model

A Story Told by an Anonymous Man

I’m the oldest of three kids.  I’m older than my little brother by 2.5 years and my little sister by 9.5.  When I was about fourteen or so, arguing with my dad in private about something I don’t remember, he, being the second-oldest of eight kids, told me: “Any decision you make in this household, you make three times.  Once when you make it, once when your brother makes the same decision after watching you do it, and once when your sister makes the same decision after watching you and your brother do it.  How you treat your brother will tell him how he can treat your sister; and how you treat your sister tells her how she will expect to be treated for the rest of her life, even as far as her future boyfriends.”

Others are watching us.  The impact we have on them is amazing.  When we treat others with respect or kindness, we demonstrate to everyone that respect and kindness is the expectation around us.  When we treat others poorly, those watching “learn” that it is OK to treat others poorly.  Then, they teach that same thing to those watching them.  This cycle then continues.

One action – good or bad – can impact others permanently and can follow them for generations.  When we view our behavior through this lens, should we not consider the possibility that “there is never a time when respect and kindness is unwarranted?”

Excuse me, but your actions are speaking so loudly that I can’t hear a word you are saying to me.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson (paraphrased) –

Have one of those “best days yet” —- there is enough time left in the day that it is still possible….


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