One of the things that bugs me is people who preach one ideal, then live a totally different practice. You know people like this; they have a great line about how you should live, but you cannot find those ideas active in their lives.
The destructiveness of duplicity
Children learn the most about life, not from books, or lectures or what they see on television, but from what they see around themselves. We try to teach our young ones not to bully each other, then we condone national leaders bullying with no consequences. We want our children to help one another, then make a huge show of demonizing others. Safe driving is what we hope our teenagers learn, and we tell them about it while we text and drive! Just what lesson do you think they are learning; the one we say, or the one we do? After all this, we wonder why our kids don’t listen to us.
Doing what we preach
We cannot teach love while practicing hate; it is incompatible. We cannot expect tolerance from people who have only been shown intolerance. Expecting our schools to be places of safety while creating potential shooting galleries is a fools errand. Whatever it is we hope to teach the next generations, we must live today. We must practice what we preach with no exceptions.
There is a way
We can return to a time when what we say, as adults, means something. We can begin asking ourselves if the way we live truly reflects what we would want our children to experience. This requires some self-reflection, and it will not be comfortable. We make excuses for what we do even when we know it is wrong. But taking that step of introspection; becoming the Involved Observer, is the first step. I invite you to read my book It’s All About Me, the Involved Observer and see if you can improve what you teach by improving how you live.