In the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “the highest status is not to care about status, and that influence is more powerful than power!”

How many times have we taught by telling others to do as I say, instead of what I do? True power and true education come from influence, which is doing as I do, not just doing as I say.

I’m reminded of a simple subliminal message I used to give to my children, letting them know that it’s okay to lie. When someone would call who I didn’t want to speak with, I would tell the child that answered the phone, “tell them I’m not here”. My child clearly knows that I am, and I just gave them permission to lie. While I didn’t intend to, my actions spoke way louder than my words. Had I not been made aware of this by one of my children, and I was asked if I told my kids that it’s okay to lie, I would have answered no way, yet I did.

How many times—in an effort to avoid conflict—have I lied? This may seem like no big deal, yet when others know that I’m lying, I’m essentially telling them that lying is acceptable.

It’s the notion that my actions are my problem, when in truth, they aren’t. My actions always have repercussions and I’m not only my brother’s keeper, I’m my child’s keeper as well, and I’m the keeper of those who respect me, listen to me, and act based upon my actions.

In turn, this leads to the quote, “status is not caring about status”. It’s when I care about my actions, when I stop caring about external sources of validation, when I’m truly aware of myself and recognize that my behavior is my responsibility, and no toy, money, or “status” will make me feel better, I realize that what will make me feel best about myself is when I’m congruent with my soul, when I’m teaching by example, and most importantly, when my insides match my outsides.

This week, let’s remember that our actions have consequences, that our words matter, and most importantly, people learn from how we act, not from what we say.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love


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