We are all made in the image of God and each and everyone of us humans are unique and perfect in our own respective ways. The environment and circumstances in which we grew up are what molded our characters and personalities. I have come to learn that those people who are ‘evil’ or those who hurt other humans either emotionally or physically are actually reflecting the troubles that they went through in their lives and the weaknesses they have accumulated as a result of what they have experienced from their families, friends, relatives and societies.
Having said that, it is imperative to understand that you can not get even with someone who does you wrong by doing him wrong too. Because that will also translate to the fact that you face the very same negativity that your oppressor has dealt with or is dealing with in their own lives. With this line of thought it is impossible to change somebody. An example that I have in mind are the poor individuals who sit on the streets begging for change. These less fortunate humans will still come back to the street every day to beg even though they could decide to use the money they get in another way so that they would have to disgrace themselves by sitting in the cold and rain with their best sad faces on to win the sympathy of passers-by. In essence, those coins we give them don’t really help them change their lives. I am not suggesting we don’t give to the poor; my point is that these individuals can only change their situation by themselves. What they lack is the self-awareness that they could, as a matter of fact, live dignified lives if they decide to use the change, they get every day in another way. We could help them, more than by just giving them change, by treating them with a lot of love and respect hence igniting the spark that has been extinguished by life’s challenges that they could live without having to beg on the streets.
It is impossible to change somebody, but we could activate the emotions necessary for them to change themselves by being the change they need to become.
Stephen Covey in his book 7 habits put this perfectly;
We can choose to reflect back to others a clear, undistorted vision of themselves. We can affirm their proactive nature and treat them as responsible people. We can help script them as principle-centered, value-based, independent, worthwhile individuals. And, with the Abundance Mentality, we realize that giving a positive reflection to others in no way diminishes us. It increases us because it increases the opportunities for effective interaction with other proactive people. At some time in your life, you probably had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself. He or she scripted you. Did that make a difference in your life.
The environment, the society has a lot of influence on people’s character and behavior. If we all decide to do good this will also have a ripple effect on every other human. Therefore, the most important thing to change the world is to start with yourself. Examine yourself and seek to make the best version of yourself. If someone does you wrong do not react, yes you will be emotionally imbalanced and at this state a reaction will do nothing but escalate the situation. Always remember that whatever a person does is a reflection of their own weaknesses. We need NOT react to other people’s weaknesses we can instead show them our strength by not reacting rather responding in a positive way even though we could be boiling inside. Walking away, for example, is a response to a situation that might turn violent or verbal if someone tries to intimidate you. Don’t allow yourself to be the guinea pig of someone who needs to verify their own self-awareness. By responding and not reacting we show a strength of character and we might inadvertently awaken the other persons mind to question the sense of their own behavior and even if not; by standers who are witnessing the situation might learn and want to re-examine themselves. The best investment you can ever make is investing in yourself and the way to change the world is to change yourself.