In this week’s spotlight I wish to shine some light on the notion of self-responsibility. For me, self-responsibility means taking responsibility for everything in your life, even those events or people that do not in any way seem to be your problem or responsibility.
Mirrors on Ourselves
Often the people who most antagonize us are the ones we need most to teach us what we want to learn. My mother used to say, “Birds of a feather flock together. ” Call it that, or call it simple attraction, anger attracts anger, hostility attracts hostility, love attracts love, and so forth. The fact is, what we resist we tend to become. When we see something in someone we do not like, we need to be careful, for often they are mirrors of ourselves. What we dislike in them is likely to be a behavior of our own. When we are alert to this, it’s quite easy to do something remarkable, something that truly changes your own reality.
The Power of One
Let me digress a minute and share a story with you from my book, Choices and Illusions. When I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, my local post office was always jammed with patrons. They all seemed in a hurry, and the clerks were absolutely rude. Many times heated arguments erupted between patrons and staff. I decided to try a little experiment. “What would happen if I just smiled and beamed light to all of these people?” I thought. Every day for at least two weeks when I stopped to pick up my mail, I did my best to focus light on all. One day the oldest and grouchiest of the postal clerks, whose line I was queued in, looked up and said, “Hello, Dr. Taylor.” There was a smile on his face and in his voice. From that day forward, every clerk in the office spoke and smiled, laughed and joked with me. Everything had changed. They were still snippy with other patrons for a while, but the smile and light had paid off. Somehow, unconsciously even, they identified me with warmth and love. Within a few months this post office and its employees were as warm and friendly with everyone as any I have ever visited. For me, this is evidence of the influence one person can bring to a situation!
Coaching and Cheering
It is amazing what a little unconditional love can do. We all are capable of coaching or cheering on our friends and family, but when it comes to strangers, particularly those we think of as rude, it is often another matter. It doesn’t have to be. This is just another way to do good deeds.
My thoughts, what are yours?