Instead of griping about everyone else it is time for me to do what I can do and leave the rest up to God. Reportedly written in 1100 AD by an unknown monk, the following describes the fallacy most of us make.
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult
to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't
change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and
as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the
only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had
changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I
could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the
nation and I could indeed have changed the world."
It is always easier to look for fault and place blame with everyone else, but it is much more effective to take responsibility for ourselves. I think about the recent brouhaha about Victoria’s Secret’s marketing campaign. It didn’t really affect me because I don’t shop there and I don’t go to the mall. It didn’t really affect my wife or my kids because they don’t shop there or go to the mall. If enough people who did shop there and were offended by it would stop shopping there the policy would change instantly. It is convenient to blame the evil corporation that is corrupting young people, but honestly, no business that wants to stay in business (and certainly not a national brand) creates an entire product line without having studied what will sell and what their target audience wants to buy. Sometimes they miss, but most of the time they know what the consumer wants. I can guarantee that some of the people who have screamed the loudest about the problems with that product will not change their own shopping habits or those of their family over the issue, and the young daughters of some of them will be wearing the things they griped about. What about you and me? Not necessarily about this specific thing, but in all areas of life. Do we change the way we live to reflect the principles that we hold to be true, or do we change our principles to fit in with those around us? - jp