|People can make changes in their behavior and reputation in order to become different in their future. Certainly, it is best when they desire to have positive, helpful, admirable changes.
Perhaps the most amazing example of changing the future by purposefully changing one's behavior and reputation began in the early 1930's in America when a man named Bill Wilson and his friend, Dr. Bob Smith, changed their behaviors and created new selves. Their decision to change was the central ingredient that led to changes in the lives of millions of people.
During the "Roaring Twenties" in America, both Bill and Bob had abused alcohol and created turmoil for their families, employers and themselves. Even though they had not committed crimes against the law, they had basically become criminals against their families and themselves. By the time they met each other, alcoholism had created the worst of behaviors and reputation and it seemed that they had nothing left to contribute to themselves, their families or their communities.
Bill and Dr. Bob began a friendship that gave each of them, not only the desire to change their behaviors and reputation, but that actually made the needed and desired changes occur. They found that together they could stop drinking booze and its sad and regretful behaviors. During their years of their sobriety, they analyzed their discussions and the decisions along the path to change their behaviors and; thereby, change who they became.
Not only did they define the steps that each had faithfully followed to change, but they wrote them down and began to share their "Twelve Steps" with other drunks, booziers, bums, alcoholics who had allowed alcohol consumption destroy their lives and reputations.
Millions of men and women around the world have followed the same steps to change their alcoholic behaviors and reputations by participating in Alcohol Anonymous groups. They, like Bill W. and Dr. Bob, have made amazing changes in their very being and have helped other alcoholics make the same kinds of changes. The world is a better place because two men found their way out of negative, hurtful lives to positive behaviors that have blessed their families, communities and the world.
Purposeful changes can be made and when they are made, the person and the world are better.
Parental behavior, as it expresses personal and family values, sets the standard for their children. However, the older an adolescent becomes, the more he or she analyzes and questions whether the parental behavior is positive evidence of the values that the parent has taught them. If the parent's behavior conflicts with the parent's words, the adolescent openly or secretly rejects both the parent and the value.
The maturing mind of the adolescent allows him or her to acquire different values and behaviors than they learn from their parents. When a parent has been hypocritical by actions that conflict with the values which they have taught their child, the grown up child must proceed to find a different value. If that child honestly accepts and practices the parental value, then that value is more likely to be adopted by the next generation. The opposite also happens.
Perhaps the parent's spoken value is one of acceptance of other people regardless of differences in appearance, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation or other difference. But if a parent's behavior and spoken words indicate hate or judgmentalism of a person with the difference, the child becomes aware of the conflict. After observing the hypocrisy, the child may go through emotional reactions to the hypocrisy before taking personal actions and analysis to find his or her own way be believe and become. The younger the child who becomes aware of the hypocrisy, the more trauma he may feel, and the more problematic the experience of finding his own values may become. Sadly, some of them decide that the hypocrisy is acceptable; therefore, they accept negative values exhibited by their parents. Such a process has major impact on the individual lives, families, communities, societies and the world.
Brain research has shown that a person's values and decision-making does not mature until after age 22. Perhaps one reason for there being so much conflict and negative behaviors in homes where adolescents live, is that the parents' behavior is opposite their spoken values. Perhaps. if parents are honest and sure that their behaviors reflecting positive values during the child's adolescence, there will not be conflict and negative actions by their offspring. Harmony and happiness are gifts to that parent and to all who interact in some way with the offspring and their next generation.
Whenever parents are hypocritical and their behavior does not match their spoken values, society can expect many of children to become problematic. Among those problems are homelessness, addiction, drug trafficking and other criminal activity. It behooves society to expect and demand that parents, and others who care for children, teach and practice positive values to their children. When society benefits, everyone benefits. Perhaps this is the missing ingredient in humanity's search for world peace.