I go out and speak for a living. I speak to adults, children, and anybody who will listen to me. I talk about nonviolence and changing your own little piece of the world.
It is truly my belief that if we all changed our little corner of this planet, we could all change the world. I also hold a lot of truth to the Gandhi’s quote: Be the change you want to see in the world.
This quote needs more discussion: I always thought I knew what this quote meant…it seems like such an easy quote. The simplistic reality is that you have to change yourself completely in order for this spectacular peace of teaching to truly be used, grasped, and seen in it’s most amazing form. You yourself have to act and be the person you want everyone else to be.
Wow…hypocrites (even subconscious hypocrites) need not apply.
So, I begin doing and acting out all of the ideas and thought I suggest for others.
For the last 2 years, when I get home…since I don’t truly hold the same “normal” work hours as my neighbors, I’m usually home when they aren’t….if there are trashcans still on the curb, I go and bring them in. The last thing most people want to do when they get home from work is to get the can from the curb. That would mean walking all the way back tot he curb to get the caN…AUGH! So I eliminate this problem.
I also clean up trash in the neighbors yards, mow their lawn if I have the gas, and bring their paper to their doorstep. This is just what I do…because this is how I believe neighbors should exist. Yes, I bake pie and take it over to the new neighbors. This is appreciation and gratitude for everyone. Yes, our houses…even the people who don’t really want to get along with everyone…still share food and leftovers.
In the midst of this…there is a gentleman that is just angry at the world:
He yells at his kids all the time.
He yells at them to get in, go out, clean, etc.
He yells at my kids for stepping on his lawn.
He yells at his roommate (she is actually a divorce from his brother)
He yells at his truck, his boat, anything.
He yells and threatens the(my) dogs.
He revs his pickup truch or revs his boat for 2 hours starting at 6am.
He yells at people walking too close to his grass and people going too fast.
I am always nice to him!
I offer him leftovers…he refuses.
My kids play with his kids…only until her cares the next week.
I say hi to him, and try to strike up a conversation.
I am always polite and do things that I can for him and his family.
Suddenly…4 days ago, he calls me over with a “HEY..yo, get over here.”
I go over and he chuckles and says that he has seen me getting wood from vacant lots for my back yard fire.Evidently…he is a arborist and gave me some wood. I thanked him and gave him a card.
The next day he pulls his truck into my driveway and gives me over a cord of wood. He said, thank you for everything I do and that I’m always welcome to any of the firewood he has since he gets it all the time.
Now, he smiles and waves at me and many others. He has started sharing his homemade pate, fish spread, and smoked salmon(I’m a vegetarian but my kids and wife says it’s GREAT!). With just being nice and pleasant…he has changed to be a very nice to person to us and the whole street.
This is motivating for positive change in action!!!!