My daughter Carissa recently posted something that said “Forcing people to take action isn’t going to cause them to change, but inspiring them to take action will.” I really got to thinking about that, and I think it is so true and relevant right now.
It seems like we are constantly fighting a battle with some people, trying to get them to see what we think is the “right” thing. We’ve opened our eyes to injustice, to white privilege, to Black Lives Matter, to the cause. Some of us are posting on social media, some of us are protesting, some of us are writing to our senators, some of us are educating ourselves, some of us are meditating and praying. Some of us are taking some type of action, and in the process, we are forcing or pushing people in our little corner of the world to take immediate action as well. Although I do believe, yes, we do need to take action, forcing someone to move out of their comfort zone too early will have the opposite effect of what we ultimately want: To change their hearts and minds.
Even though you might be thinking, the world is ready. The time is now. We have to do something and we can’t let our foot off the pedal, there are some people who are just not there yet. They know something isn’t right. They know they should be taking action, but they are just too scared maybe. Too scared to move into a new way of thinking, too set in their ways to be open to hearing about how you’ve changed and by golly, it’s time for them to change.
I think those of us who are part of this movement can agree, we want to change the world. We want a better world for us and for our children. We want a world filled with love, joy, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness. But in order to change the world, I think we have to stop trying to force people or shame people into changing.
As the spiritual teacher Ram Dass once said, “We are all just walking each other home.” Think about it this way…You might be farther along on the path home. Some of your brothers and sisters are struggling on the path. They might be lost, frightened, fearful, or detoured off the path. In order to help them get home, would you kick them and shame them for not being farther along then you, or would you stop and help them by inspiring them to become better adept at navigating the road ahead of them?
Ask yourself this: Do you want to be right or do you want to change the world? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try inspiration. Remember, inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, from someone or something, that gives you new and creative ideas.
Now the question becomes “How do you inspire someone?” The simplest ways I’ve found to inspire people are by being compassionate, authentic and vulnerable. Admit your flaws, be enthusiastic and positive, and above all else, be an active listener. That is going to be my blueprint for trying to inspire people to take action.
So I’ll ask you this…how are you going to inspire people, change their lives for the better, and ultimately help change the world?? Please comment below, share your ideas and let’s help propel this movement forward!