Tag: Example

The power of example

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. – Albert Schweitzer

Our initial learning is from imitating others particularly our parents, grandparents, neighbors, the au pair or nanny and those with whom we are in close contact. Obviously we end up learning both the good and the bad from these influencers since we are unable to distinguish good from bad at that stage. This method of learning continues to influence us deeply till our dying day although as we grow we can become selective in our learning. However the example set by others often tends to have an overwhelming influence on us and very often we unconsciously imbibe a lot of bad, negative and avoidable qualities, traits and mannerisms from others. The best example is our use of profanity when irritated, annoyed, angry or furious. Our accent too is a good example of how we get unconsciously influenced by those around us.

While logic, understanding, rational and reason have a major bearing on how we shape up in life, we have always underestimated the power of examples of others in shaping us. The rituals we follow at home have a major bearing on how we imitate the same as we grow up and then set an example for others. From the time we rise up each morning, to the chores we perform and even the subtle mannerisms, attitude and behavior are often molded by the examples set by those who are key influencers in one’s life. Teachers for example have a very very important role to play as role models and prima donnas of good example. Those teachers who demand the best, often get the best from their students. Those who lack that charisma and self will, end up having a set of mediocre students to battle with. While the strict teacher might not be very popular when one is in school, with maturity and the advantage of hindsight, one would easily realize that those  teachers who were strict but not whimsical or biased gave you the strength, the motivation and the self belief to excel.

While a role model would have a strong influence on helping us set standards, the choice of the wrong role model could critically hamper us and even negatively influence us. Thus many youngsters are mistakenly drawn to the antisocial and undesirable mannerisms and communication of those role models who seem to be larger than life simply because they are anti establishment or rebellious. The hippy culture of the 70’s and similar fashion trends that tend to be gross and the trend to splurge on brands promoted by our person role models, the abuse of drugs and promiscuity are but the tip of the iceberg. Selective idolization of role models is another dangerous problem. While everyone sees the success, the fame and the adulation enjoyed by our role models very few of us pay attention to the tremendous effort, hard work and sacrifices they make to reach the top of their profession. We tend to follow only the example that is suitable to us and conveniently ignore the tougher part. The net result is that we end up frustrated and disheartened by the lack of success.

The best way to improve ourselves is by the realization that each of us has both a responsibility and an obligation to be aware of our own power to influence those around us. We would then consciously attempt to change and put forward our own best efforts and suddenly we would notice that everything and everyone around us seems to be very close to the ideal we would have visualized. Both, us who set the example and the others who imitate our example would then be doing the perfect tango in sync and with grace.

Remember: “A good example has twice the value of good advice”

Try this:

  1. Can you identify 3 bad habits/ mannerisms / qualities in you that you would like to change. Do you think you imbibed it because of the influence of those around you?
  2. Identify the 3 good habits/ mannerisms/ qualities that you imbibed/ developed because of the influence of someone around you. Name the person who was responsible for it and if possible thank them too.
  3. Make a list of one role model each for the following and the one quality that you would like to imitate.
  • A sportsperson
  • A politician
  • A businessman/ business woman
  • A teacher
  • A social crusader/ social activist

Ps. As I am out of station till Sunday 6th Feb’11 the blog will be resumed from Monday 7th Feb’11

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

God must be both an experience and an example

Talking about God is not at all the same thing as experiencing God, or acting out God through our lives. Phillip Hewett

God has been central to the lives of human kind and religion has been the vehicle used to reinforce the belief in god amongst the believers. Religion itself has evolved over time and has acquired various hues, has been instrumental in polarizing people and continues to be the epicenter of fundamentalism, bigotry and extremism.  When objectively studied from the point of view of the metamorphosis of religion over time two facts emerge – God becomes a tool in the hands of the religious and we become slaves to our religion. In effect what we end up doing is preaching and practicing as per our convenience.

To begin with almost all religions have a predominantly ritualistic bias. This is partly a social need so as to rally in numbers and become aware of our faith. Without exception each religion fiercely protects its turf from any form of thought that even remotely questions its dogma or authorities. Followers are happy in the solace they draw from the unknown power of God and rationalize their suffering, pain and fears. They will with impunity amass wealth illegally, part with the spoils under the garb of religious donations and won’t hesitate to pay obeisance at the cost of other ordinary mortals. The outward symbol of religion becomes the focus of people, while they blissfully ignore, sidestep or blind themselves to the core of religion viz. experiencing God and being a living example of God.

To experience God the fundamental requirement is deep faith, undying love and crystal clear values. When these are aligned, one can experience GOD in the wonders of the beauty that abounds in this world; be it the beautiful sunrise or sunset, the lush green meadows and flowers that bloom in spring or in the dazzle of the fireflies that light up the dark evening. One can experience it in the silence of the heart or in the chanting of the prayers; in the solemnity of the rituals or the boisterousness of festivity. The peak experience is the peace and calmness that pervades our stressful life, the joy and ecstasy in the  cry of a new born and the comfort that we get in believing that a loved has gone on to eternal reward.

The ultimate experience is in being a living example. We must be able to touch other lives with empathy and love bringing peace and hope to all those who come in contact with us. We must be prepared to sacrifice so that others can benefit; be merciful just as we are merciful judged by the God we believe in and be unbiased and fair and ensure that everyone gets justice without fear or favor.  If we truly love god we must be able to spread that love to every human being that we are privileged to reach out to through our own personal, caring and loving touch be it in words, thoughts or deeds.

Remember: “What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” Eleanor Powell

Try this:

  1. Read the famous Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi by clicking the following link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis You can also hear the audio song by clicking on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRvtkZs7oNg
  2. If you are finding it hard to be at peace, not experiencing the joy and happiness of life, if every day is stressful then ask yourself if you truly experiencing God in your life or being an example to others.  Examine the inconsistencies in your life where you are often found doing what troubles your conscience be it telling lies, defaming people, being brash, rude and brazen or pilfering and robbing, being unfaithful etc.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com