Be an example

A good example is the best sermon. Anon

Often we are carried away by the eloquence and oratory of an excellent public speaker. Primarily this is because he or she has the expertise, has prepared well and has the personality and ability to communicate well. We get inspired and charged up and it is possible that we also attempt to put in practice the take aways from the preaching. Unfortunately, many of us lack the will power to sustain and soon we are back in square one. Other times, we are disinterested in the talk and except for some odd remarks or pearls of wisdom most of the talk does not register. Yet those few words linger long and we might frequently reflect on them for it has touched a chord in us.

However what remains etched in our minds and our hearts are those acts of kindness and love that you experienced first hand or that you were privileged to witness. It could be the tenderness and patience of mother who has to take care of a mentally or physically challenged child. Perhaps you have a special affection for a neighbor or a teacher who believed in you and encouraged you. Sometimes it is the real life incidents which we read about that brings fresh perspectives and touches a raw nerve within us. The success of the Chicken Book Series is a case in point. Remember the story of an old couple who were force to live apart because the wife was stricken with Alzheimer’s and had to be institutionalized. Yet every single day the old man made a trip from his house and spent long hours with his wife who would barely recognize him. Finally  a well meaning nurse suggested to the old man that it was futile that he waste his time, money and energy coming daily to meet his wife who could not recognize him. The old mans reply will bring a lump to your throat ‘She may not recognize me but I know who she is and that is why I come to see her daily’

‘Seeing is believing’ is an old adage; however the true meaning of it is in the domain of examples set by those who we look upon as role models. Parents are the primary source from whom we learn be it the 3 R’s or values or temperament. This is closely followed by the observation of teachers, relatives and neighbors and all those whom we are in close contact with. It would be hypocrisy for a parent who smokes to tell his kids not to smoke or for a teacher to tell students not to copy in exams while they allow students leeway when they are supervising. It is normal for people to prefer the easy path, the pleasure filled road and imitate the behavior that is most prevalent.

Each of us must realize that we are being observed, our actions imitated consciously or unconsciously and our words and actions minutely analyzed for discrepancies by very many people whom we come in contact with. More importantly it is imperative that we recognize the fact that words are very easy to articulate; it is very very tough to Walk the Talk.

Remember: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”St. Francis of Assisi

Try this:

  1. Name a close relative (it could be either of your parents or grandparents or uncle or aunt) who you greatly admire. Now list out 5 qualities that endear that person to you. Also name one quality of that person which you feel needs to be changed/ worked on /is irritating.
  2. For the next one week, make an attempt at improving your behavior, working on changes that your loved ones always want you to incorporate. It could be spending more time at home or it could be increasing your study time or it could be keeping your room and cupboards neat and tidy etc.

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