Lead by example and be a catalyst for positive change.
Today, I recalled this poem “Comes the Dawn”. The poem was first given to me in my freshman year of college years ago. It still holds true in wisdom today. Wow, how times have changed, and how many things stay the same. No matter what I do or don’t do, I am judged and criticized by other people’s measuring sticks, and I know that you have experienced this too.
All of our lives are spent being judged and criticized by other people and by judging ourselves. One lesson to learn is that as long as I choose to believe the other people, I will never measure up, because there are always people who will judge me.
We are not taught how to prevent escalating anger in ourselves and in others, to stand patiently or calmly walk away while another criticizes us in their judgment. We are not taught how to not become reactionary and lash out at the person who is judging us. We are not taught to communicate patient respect of another who has become emotionally volatile. We are often not taught how to be accepting of each person. Often times, we lose our patience and care of ourselves and the other person. We lash out in our own judgment and criticism. Justifying our reactions as acceptable because the other person struck first. At the moment of reacting to another with the same toxic judgment and criticism, we become part of the problem, rather than the solution. If we want people to change, we have to lead by example and be the catalyst for positive change.
When you and I are being judged and criticized, it is an opportunity for each of us to take a step back and not react with judgment and criticism of the other person. It is an opportunity for me to test my patience, grace under pressure, acceptance, the ability to let go of anger, self preservation, resilience, self respect and respect of the other person. That is a tall order. I can choose to react to the other person, lashing out in judgment and criticism of them or I can choose to rise above the judgments and criticisms. I can lead by example and be a catalyst for positive change.
“Comes the Dawn”
“After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company isn’t security.
(Kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.)
After awhile you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain
and the inevitable has a way of crumbling in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you stand too long in one place.
So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers.
And you learn you really can endure,
that you really do have worth.
You learn that with every good-bye comes the dawn.”