What a perfect way to explain our heart condition. We choose by our actions to be one or the other--the person who sees others, or the person who sees only himself.
Any kind of virtuous living has to do with the decision to be unselfish—to look out for the good of others. In parenting, that means that we can’t just focus on behavior or we won’t get far. The root of the issue is with the heart.
How do we choose an unselfish heart? Well, since humans tend to be self-centered, we need some help from a Power bigger than ourselves—something truly transformative. And then we must accept the responsibility to guard the heart. Everything we do flows out of our heart condition.
Many of us truly want to be unselfish at some level. We want to do good to others, raise good kids, and be good citizens. How do we maintain a life like that?
The heart has five “doors” that we personally govern. We choose what to look at, or how we see things. We choose what and who we listen to. We choose to treat life as sacred and honor others first. We choose what we say. And we choose how to use our hands, our volition, to do good towards others and in the world.
Look at your own choices, and then think about the fact that your life is an instructional video for your children. What choices can you make today that will form both your own heart and theirs? It’s two for the price of one! As you grow a virtuous, pure heart, your child is very likely to follow.
Today, choose how you will look at life. Choose what to listen to, and what to shut out. Choose to honor everyone in your path (even the tough ones). Choose to speak out or keep quiet for the common good. And choose to use your hands, your will, to do right, every time.
What will our days (and future) look like when we set our intentions this way? I think they’re going to be a good ones—both for us and our children.