05 January 2015

Changing others begins with Changing Self

Most of us want other people to change. We try different means depending the relationship ..... parents use their parental authority to force the children to change (not very effective at all nowadays). Bosses want to use order or at the very least, scolding, and then threats of firing etc. The government set up laws and then fine or imprisons the violators. Whatever, such enforcement incur much costs of watching, catching the violation, and implementing the punishment. The end result is that it is not very effective. In the case of children, there are many cases of rebellion as the end-result.
Sun Zi, in his Art of War, tells us that victory is not decided by us but rather by the enemy making mistakes. We can only make sure we don't loose and we win whenever the enemy makes mistakes. The enemy, can, of course, be lured or incited by us to make mistake to that we can win.
While we have no direct control over others, we do have full control over ourselves, especially on how we treat others.
So, changing others, begins with ourselves making the change first. We must change ourselves and change the way we treat others to bring forth change in others. We can be a little bit more patience, a little more understanding (seeing things with their view point rather than ours, with more empathy), a little bit more love by extending ourselves to help out instead of demanding and .....
The way of drawing is much better than the way of pushing. So Lao Zi said the weak or the soft overcomes the hard and the strong. He said, live things are soft and dead things are hard!
We can also learn from history. The great king Yu was able to fix the flooding problem by building canal to draw away the flooding water. His father failed because he did the direct approach of building dam to stop the flood water. As more water is stopped, the flood water get higher and assert greater and greater pressure on the dams. The dams will either be overflow (The Japan Nuclear Reactors stations build 10m high wall but the tsunami waves were much higher) or be broken.
Hence, change ourselves first and use the soft approach to trigger permanent change in others.
Lim Liat (c) 5 Jan 2015
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