At school, I often hear adults telling students: do the right thing, take the right path, everything we do has consequences, choose to do good, choose to be good! Since when have we started saying things we don’t truly feel, or, better yet, we don’t truly follow? Yes, a student does the right thing when he or she decides to follow the rules, to be a good boy or girl. We tell our children, not only at school, but also at home, every action has a consequence, it leads us onto a path, a road. This “do the right thing”, “choose wisely” doctrine is something I heard in pretty much every school I ever worked in, whether it was secondary or primary, in Portugal or in England.
So… when will we start to act as we preach, when will we do as we say? Maybe, only then, children will do as they are told too, maybe, then, our children will be led by our example. Maybe, then, they will feel that our advice or order, depending on what the situation is, is really meant and then they will follow. Maybe this is what the saying means when we hear “Those who can’t do teach!”, because more than teach, we should aspire to educate, to plant and to nurture. Then, the saying could be “Those who can do educate!” If I am able to lead by example, to act as I preach, maybe, then, children will really be educated and learn, as we all know that more than our words, our actions and examples are what a child really sees and hears, follows and mirrors.
So, before we insist with our child that he or she should eat more greens, let’s us eat more greens! Before we insist with our children that they should watch less TV and spend more time doing a physical activity, let’s be less of a couch potato and be more of a sports coach!
Before we tell our children to stop bringing their mobile phone to the table, let’s not bring ours to the table (bed, bedroom, toilet, whatever furniture or room we bring it to)!
Before we tell our children “think for yourself, don’t let your peers or friends influence you or decide what’s best for you”, let’s all think for ourselves and stand tall according to our beliefs!
Before we tell our children “Believe in yourself” or “Stand up for what you believe in” or “You can be anything you want to be”, let’s make sure we believe in ourselves, we stand up for what we believe in, no matter what other people think or may think of that, and chase our dreams and our happiness, be anything we want to be!
So, whatever we are trying to teach to our children, whatever simple learning or piece of wisdom, whatever simple action or grand gesture we are trying to preach to our children, we should all ask ourselves first “Am I doing it myself?”. We all know an apple doesn’t fall far from its tree and that our environment and people around us play a major role in the founding of our being. So, be it! So, I quote and adapt Ghandi’s saying by saying “Let’s be the change we want to see in our children” and then, this way, and now fully quoting the Indian peaceful leader, we will be the change we want to see in the world.
If we change yourselves, we will change our children, our world, the world!
So, be it! Let’s do it!