Like most people I'm pretty complex. I have my good habits and qualities and my bad ones. I'm basically pretty average. I do, however, have one trait that I inherited from my mother - a habit of introspection and self-examination. I tend to really analyse myself, my actions and most specifically, my motives.
Most of my friends will tell you that I have a fairly dry, often sarcastic sense of humour and, to an extent, that's okay. But sometimes, without meaning to, I have hurt people - sometimes quite badly. I'm not politically correct and can quite often be frank and open to the point of being blunt and borderline rude. I'm reasonably intelligent and don't suffer fools gladly, as the saying goes, but that can often times be very hurtful. It's a habit of mine that I've gradually come to realise is not cute or funny at all and one I would dearly love to change.
Yet in spite of my genuine and heart-felt desire to curb my sometimes caustic wit I find myself all too often falling back into my old, deeply ingrained habits. I don't want or intend to be hurtful with my humour but it still happens. Looking back at my childhood I can see where I developed my sarcasm - it's a family trait that I was indoctrinated into almost from birth. So how do I 'be the change I want to see in the world'? To be honest I don't really know, just keep trying I guess, but that kind of deep seated, fundamental character change is not easy.
Most people can recognise that they are a product of their upbringing but few really understand how deeply indoctrinated we truly are and usually from a very, very early age. And most of those indoctrinations can be both good and bad. My sense of humour - bad. My step-father, who raised me, was Aboriginal so I was indoctrinated very early on with a deep sense of abhorrence about racism. That's an example of a good indoctrination but it's still a form of indoctrination. We are all reflections of our childhoods and sometimes those reflections really need to be changed.
I've heard it said that it takes 30 days to make or break a habit and that may be true for some things. Give me 30 days and I'll probably learn to make my bed every day. But it very rarely works with the really important stuff - those things can take a lifetime to change no matter how hard we work at it.
So I guess what I'm saying is that we all should sometimes take a long, hard look at ourselves and even though it's hard we genuinely should make the effort to 'be the change we want to see in the world'. Tread softly and try to leave no footprints but be realistic about it - even when you see some dark and ugly things in your character you have to understand that they won't simply change overnight just because you want them to. Be self vigilant but also be kind to yourself and understand that real change takes time.