Weed Your Garden First – Know Yourself before You Know Others

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”- Sun Tzu. One thing in life is for sure – all the important lessons are learned only by experience. Know yourself and win rest of the world.

Know Yourself

Know Yourself

I realized it when I was hopeful about playing a pivotal part in getting a local start to an Occupy movement in my home town some time ago. More than a movement, it proved to be a great experiment in seeing social dynamics on an upfront and personal level. It also compelled me to see how easy it is to point a finger at others for problems, and how difficult it is to know yourself. I would have to say that the frustrations that the lessons of Occupy caused in me, egged me on to create what has now taken the shape of this blog – StartWithin.

Whose Fault is It?

It is so easy to point the finger at others; so easy to point out the weeds in other’s garden. And this syndrome only grows with human population growth. It takes real wisdom to realize and fathom the reality of someone’s fault (a person, a leader, a government) and use the lessons for PERSONAL growth first.

A Lesson Learned in Time

The lesson that must be learned, however, is that before you try to incite change in another, it is you who must change. Weed out the greed in your own heart before shaking your fist at the corporate greed. That is what I had to do. I could not see myself being apart of something with pure ideals (realized or not) with what I felt was a lack in personal purity. I had to weed my garden first, and the process seems to have just started. It may take this lifetime (or more) to get this herculean task completed.

The Chain Reaction of Weeding

There is hope though. Just like one person on the block cleaning up their yard can spur others to spruce up their place as well, likewise, by “weeding” yourself you may end up encouraging others to do the same. Making wise choices yourself, without, howsoever, making much noise about it creates the space for those around you to make wise choices as well. On the flip-side, when you make poor choices, you allow other to continue the way they are going. There are more people comparing themselves to you in ways you may never know. Your growth creates a force to allow their growth. This is how human population growth is. This very act of spreading the positive change is the true Occupy movement.

Occupy yourself first, weed your own garden. What is that 1% negative within you that is oppressing the 99% positive that wants to grow and evolve? What is that one good change you can decide to strive for right now? What is one “weed” you can pull in this moment? To find out it is imperative to make efforts to know yourself.

Get the gloves out and get ready to take the dirt, your garden awaits.

-Oscar Nelson

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