I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. —-Siddhārtha Gautama
Most of us know some variation of the famous line by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Yet, we keep repeating past mistakes again and again.
Those We Admire
Most of us admire people like His Holiness, the fourteen Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who showed the world that there are gentler solutions to problems facing society. So, why do we continue to support meanness by failing to speak up when we see it and when we know it is wrong? How can we teach our children to learn from their mistakes if we fail as citizens of the world to learn from ours?
You may be asking yourself, “What mistakes?” Only you can answer for yourself. Let your heart be your guide.
I firmly believe mistakes are our best teachers. I hope so anyway since I have made more than I like. However, this post is about our future, our children.
The Way We Fail
We are failing the next generation when we say things like:
- What’s the big deal?
- Bullying has been around forever.
- Kids will be kids.
- That kid had it coming!
- That kid is strange!
- Don’t play with that kid!
- I don’t like their parents.
When we say:
- The school is responsible.
- The parents are responsible.
- I blame the Internet.
- I blame social media.
- That kid just needs a spanking!
- That kid should be expelled!
- Those parents should be sued!
When we are silent.
The truth is everyone in society plays a part. Look around you! Work toward becoming a more compassionate person and setting a better example for our children by speaking up when your heart says:
- This does not feel right!
- Why would this be okay?
- Should we really do that?
- What happened to liberty and justice for all? That is what it says right? Not liberty for the majority, or just some, or just the ones who are like us?
Make a Difference
Refuse to believe those who say:
- What can I do?
- I’m just one person!
- No one will listen to me!
- What is the point?
Here’s what you can do if you do not trust your own voice:
- Support those in your community who speak out if you are not comfortable speaking out yourself.
- Contact someone you admire who is speaking out and let them know that you are grateful for their voice.
- Tell your children why it is important to speak out and to back up other children who speak up if they do not feel they can do it themselves.
Inspiring Quotes From Those We Admire
Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity. ~ Dalai Lama XIV
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ Dalai Lama XIV
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ~Nelson Mandela
There is no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. ~Nelson Mandela
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ~Mother Teresa
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. ~Mother Teresa
Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ ~Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963