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‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself’

Liz Jones is the new Membership and Wellness Director at the Rockwall County YMCA. Stay tuned for more of Liz's health and wellness columns, which will emphasize yoga and personal fitness.

You may have heard the saying, “world peace begins at home,” but what does that mean to you personally?  To me, this means first looking within ourselves for answers. 

Author Leo Tolstoy wrote, many years ago, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”  People tend to look furthest away from themselves for fault – different countries, different religions, different political parties, or even just different personal  habits.  We can all see what is “wrong” with the other guy and if only they would change to be more like us, we think the world would be a more loving place. 

I believe to make real change, we need to reverse that thinking.  We need to search deep into our own actions, behaviors, beliefs and start to do the only work we really can control- within ourselves.  In the books, “Deep Change,” and “Building the Bridge as You Walk on It,” by Robert E. Quinn, the author writes about addressing our own hypocracies.  What is it we are doing that perpetuates our unhappiness or a lack of peace in our lives.  What kinds of self-abuse are we engaging in?  Overeating?  Not exercising?  Chronically late or missing deadlines?  Over indulging in alcohol or smoking cigarettes?  What about the negative self talk so many of us listen to? 

There are many questions we can ask ourselves to begin to better understand the power that we hold to creating peace within.  This is something everyone needs to do for themselves- not for someone else to tell you what they think is “wrong” with you- but for you to examine what self abuse you are engaging in.  World peace begins within.

Then we need to begin to slowly move towards peace without.  In our families, raising our children to be empowered, showing them what a healthy, loving relationship looks like.  Treating our partners with friendship and respect.  Caring for our aging parents in whatever way we are able. 

I was fortunate to speak with Gloria Steinem in 2007 when she presented at UW-Eau Claire.  I asked her about her ideas on working to end domestic violence, and part of her profound response was that domestic violence should be called “original violence” because historically tyrants of the world have backgrounds of family violence and were abused or abandoned as children.  World peace begins at home.

Moving out into our communities and our jobs.  Do you engage in gossip around the water cooler?  Passive-aggressive behavior, eye rolling and constant complaining are forms of abusive workplace behaviors.  How about driving in anger?  World peace begins in our community.

Then we can move forward into the world.  World peace ripples like water, and we are the stone.

Liz Jones is the Membership & Wellness Director at the Rockwall County Family YMCA, located at 1210 N. Goliad St. in Rockwall.  She is a writer, certified yoga instructor and wellness coach.  Contact Liz at ejones@ymcadallas.org or 972-772-9622.

Read about the Community Wellness Challenge that Liz Jones and the Rockwall County YMCA are currently hosting. Prizes will be awarded to the overall Lifestyle Transformation winner!

To submit your news and events or a guest column on your area of expertise, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.

2 Responses to ‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself’

  1. Pingback: Transformation Challenge changes lives, connects people | Blue Ribbon News

  2. Pingback: Register through Sept. 30 for Community Wellness Challenge | Blue Ribbon News

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