How do you change the world?
I have my kids convinced that I change the world everyday. While some of this is an obvious joking about leaving the house to fight dragons and conquer kingdoms – in essence it is true.
Each one of us have the opportunity to change the world…everyday. Let me share a story to illustrate:
One day a poor porter sat in the bazaar with his carrying pole, looking for work. After a long hot day of waiting, a great lord came by and called, “I have bought a case of porcelain. To the man who will carry it home for me, I shall give three incontrovertible moral truths. If he can prove any of them false, I shall then pay him the worth of the porcelain.”
No one volunteered for the job. Who were they to dispute with so wise a man over incontrovertible moral truth? The poor man, seeing the day was almost ended and having little to lose, picked up the case with his pole and followed the lord toward his palace.
As they walked, the poor man said, “May I hear the first truth as we walk?” “Yes,” said the lord. “If you do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself, you will injure no one.”
The poor man, who had often been abused, nodded his head. “Truly an incontrovertible moral truth,” he said. “And what is the second?” “If you live each day as though it were your last, you will not waste one hour of your life.” “True,” said the poor man, his back breaking from an hour of carrying the heavy box.
They arrived at the palace, and the lord turned with laughter and said, “Now hear the third incontrovertible truth. If anyone tells you that in this world there is someone more foolish than you for carrying such a heavy burden for nothing but words you cannot eat, for heaven’s sake do not believe him.”
The poor man heard him thoughtfully, then opened his hand from the carrying pole, and the case crashed to the ground and down the stairs to the street. “Now hear a truth which invalidates all three of yours. ‘A wise man who knows the truth but does not practice it is as foolish as one who trusts his porcelain in the hands of a man he has abused.’” – Uigur folktale from China (as told by Bernard Adeney in Strange Virtues)
Hear this incontrovertible, unquestionable, irrefutable, undeniable, indisputable (did I make my point?) truth:
In the living behind the talking we find that we can change the world.
Communication that changes the world is words backed up by the veracity of our lives. It slowly seeps in to people’s hearts and minds becoming a part of them. It is sustainable and enduring change.
It’s a conversation with a DMV employee, treating them with respect…a willingness to jump in and do the dishes…a parent who doesn’t sneak their kid into Disneyland…a CEO who is honest on his taxes…a preacher who speaks with his life first…a president who is unwavering despite the polls…it’s the first becoming last so they last may become first.
Words matter. When it comes to the words, choosing them, crafting them, organizing them, speaking the ones you hear in your head all become a critical part of the communication process. I personally find the SCORRE method invaluable (albeit frustrating sometimes). After a Dynamic Communicators Workshop (DCW) where I was regularly forced to reduce my thoughts to a 5-minute speech, I found myself with a new set of tools that have helped me and continue to challenge me to find the right words.
Nothing has helped me with my words like DCW.
Actions matter. When it comes to my actions and my life backing up those words or even better inspiring the words – it comes down to the simple hard work of obedience to God and His Holy Spirit in me. No excuses! The only way I know to be obedient is to simply obey. I know it sounds dumb, simple and I should do a better job of choosing the right words. But it is that simple. Take a deep breath and be obedient.
If you want to change the world bring your words and your life into alignment. Actions don’t speak louder than words, rather words speak through our actions.