I work in the field of leadership development. One of the things they taught us is that you have to know yourself if you ever expect to have decent and meaningful relationship with others. Therein lies the problem.
Knowing yourself is easier said than done. Most of us struggle to really understand our own behavior, but self-awareness is essential for social-awareness.
There is a difference between being self-aware and self-conscious. You know what it is? Fear. When you are self-conscious, you have allowed fear to taint your thinking. You hold back from being the real you because you are afraid of what people will think or how they will respond. Fear is not from God.
However, we are to be self-aware. We need to know who we are. When we know ourselves intimately…our strengths and our weaknesses, then we can enhance our strengths and manage our weaknesses.
I was thinking this morning of some famous Kings in history. Here are some quotes about knowing yourself and others that are worth embracing:
- Rodney King (remember him?): “Can’t we all just get along?” Good question, Rodney, and worth striving for.
- Martin Luther King: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” As my wife pointed out one day to me, we get to make choices, but we don’t get to determine the consequences. Every decision has consequences, many of which are unknown and yet have life-long ramifications, so choose wisely.
- Michael Jackson, King of Pop: “I’m struggling with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. No message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change.” Bottom line is, it starts with you, but it is not all about you.
- Jesus Christ, King of Kings: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” That pretty much sums it up. Love God. Love others.
When we humble ourselves and seek to understand before we seek to be understood, then the world changes for everyone. Let’s change the world for good starting today. I will start with me.