Most lessons are taught in silence. If we were in the same room and I asked everyone to raise their hands if they’ve heard their parents say, “Do as I say and not as I do”, most hands would probably be raised. The uttering of that phrase in and of itself reeks of bad and careless behavior on behalf of the adult. I’d say the lesson is a failure! There is a more important and successfully used lesson, “Actions speak louder than words.” The problem is, a lot of people don’t realize that they’re teaching it.
Many failures are hidden in unconscious behaviors that are witnessed and not heard. Because we are a product of our environment, an exception occurs when externalities outside of the home are more influential than in the home. The combination of sociology, psychology and economics are the building blocks of a person. We learn best from things we see or experience. These things include behaviors, signs and symbols. These are often our first teachers, thus the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Many problems exist because our words are empty vessels. We comprehend what we see much more than what we read.
So what do I mean by “Be a selfish teacher”? First you have to hold yourself accountable for all that you do. If you had to teach a lesson through a windowpane but were unable speak a word, how would you behave? How could you demonstrate your character based on actions alone?
Integrity is a quality we like to teach our children and expect from others but do we practice it as often as we should? I keep no secrets of my past but I do not live there. I harbor no ill will toward others or myself. When I speak of my elders, I always include those with less stellar social positions and achievements just as I do those with higher social positions and achievements. Their stories hold equal weight in wisdom. I would even go so far as to say that the lesson has more wisdom because in some cases, he may not have been compromised by society. His steadfastness to his moral compass may have been his demise.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Money is not essential but this wide affinity is, which transcends the habit of clique and caste and makes itself felt by men of all classes,” He is basically saying money can corrupt any person, rich or poor and in any aspect of their lives. A person’s integrity is often one of the first things on the chopping block.
There are two types of people. The first type forsakes all of his integrity for social acceptance and social gain. They may compromise themselves for acceptance and love of people. This group far outweighs the later. The other type cannot be bought with money, their integrity is much more intact than that.
But what good is integrity without power?
You need balance. In order to have true power, you need power and control. Access to or participation in social groups does not necessarily lead to power, even in the event that the group is politically active. Power does not lie within politics or the politician, it lies within the people.
True power comes from ownership of property or business. The more property and businesses an owner has, the more power and control he is likely to have. The government will naturally insert itself into the owner’s business by way of taxes and legislation. This gives the owner more power since he desires to protect his assets and will be more active in government processes or legislation that specifically affects him and his interests
Anyone may demand personal rights in this country but rights in property (or business) are a different matter. Property is obtained largely in two ways, skill and gift. If nobody gifts you property (or business) you will need to use skill to gain it. Likewise, once you have obtained property and perhaps even grown it, you can also gift it to your children. More importantly, it’s a behavior they will likely pick up and pass on. They observed you acquired the necessary skills required to gain property/business and gifted it to the next generation.
My children were the muses for many of the changes I made in my life; they had become my teachers. Through their births came my rebirth. The saying, “Do as I say do and not as I do”, is a problem that has existed for too long in our culture and needs to stop. Kids will always do exactly what they see being done around them.
Be a selfish teacher. Be that person that you want your children to be! Be that millionaire, be that educated person, be that productive person, be all that you want this world to be. Once we realize the simple act of just being what we want to be, we will be the catalyst of increasingly growing power with each generation that follows.