Check Yourself.

“Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote has been interpreted and used in many different ways by an endless amount of reputable people – from authors to speakers to pastors, you name it. So here I am – neither an author, speaker, pastor or anyone technically qualified expounding on it. Great! You’re so excited!

People are always complaining about how shitty (pardon my French, I speak it fluently) others are, often times without looking at themselves. Ever think the exact people you’re complaining about learned their undesirable, negative tendencies by simply observing others?! Maybe, maybe not.

You can either be a thermometer, reflecting the people around you; Or you can be a thermostat, a person who sets the temperature in the room. You’d be surprised at the amount of impact just setting a positive example can make. Sometimes when setting an example, it may not impact the person you’re aiming for, but if one person catches on, that’s one good deed you did for the world. Think about it, if we take away the exhaustion, wrinkles, and taxes, we are all adult-sized children- impressionable. Some lack etiquette, some lack inside voices, some lack respect, or other common traits that usually qualify someone as being a “good” person. Children learn by watching their parents, siblings, peers, teachers, their favorite character on a screen, and other various adults. Do you think as ‘grownups’ we grow out of observing/emulating behaviors? Mmm, it’s gonna be a no from me *que Simon Cowell*.

{I primarily work with kids, hence why I keep using them as examples.} Working with kids since I was still one myself helped me SO much with awareness and knowing someone is always watching. I guess you could even say it helped form my integrity along with choices I make daily (thankfully). Regardless if there are big or little eyes around, I constantly find myself thinking, “hmmm would I want Precious Bean #1 or Precious Bean #2 doing that? Or knowing I did that?” Chances are they would never know, but what are the chances they did? Yeah… I’d rather not risk it. Not to mention just the thought of being dishonest or unkind kinda gives me the heebee geebees (totally how you spell that). I’m fully aware of what kind of thermostat I expect myself to be and am very intentional with my actions.; mainly because God and I (and Santa) ALWAYS know what I’m up to, which is the most important. Anywho, by no means am I saying you have to take care of kids in order to be intentional or sweet, nor am I tooting my own horn, but I am positive it’s helped me make wise(r) decisions. I’m saying all of this in such a loving and encouraging way because it is so important to BE THE EXAMPLE- for everyone, not just kids. And no, not in a psycho controlling “I’m better than everyone” judgmental type of way… That’s an example in itself and a deserved ‘bye Felicia๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป‘one at that.Small, simple, free (HOLLA๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป), random acts of kindness can set such a good tone in someone’s day… Maybe even enough for them to pass it on? Maybe even enough to encourage them to make it a habit? Wait! Then we have another person with kind intentions on our hands??? Oh no… that sounds awful-ly wonderful! With all of this being said, please, please, PLEASE do not do be kind with the expectation or intent of getting something in return or to brag about it- both verbally and on social media.๐Ÿ˜‰ Do it with genuine kindness in your heart because that’s how you want to treat others. Heck, hopefully it’ll end up making you happy just knowing you were a positive light in someones day.Aside from MLK Jr, we also have the wildly popular Ghandi “be the change you wish to see in the world”, MJ’s “Man in the Mirror”, Matthew 5:14-16. Whatever you choose to listen to, read, internalize so you can execute said suggested actions and behaviors, do it. My (again technically unqualified) guess is that this “start from within” thing that is preached about so frequently is probably because it’s true.Be a thermostat and set the tone (temperature) of your surroundings. Don’t be so concerned with others and their actions to the point where it effects you and your REactions.  How you engage with others isโ€”as alwaysโ€” up to you. Contribute to society from the inside out- spread love, compassion, respect, appreciation, kindness, be intentional, blah blah blah you know what to do; But most importantly, be your example (thermostat).Be blessed.๐ŸŒป
*Your kids, spouse, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, grocery store clerk, and the person you didn’t honk at for driving 15mph below the speed limit thank you for your kindness.
* You will have to be the bigger person from time to time, but you know, the bigger the better, right? Like the bigger margarita or bottle of wine?
* Matthew 5:14-16(NIV)                                                                                                                     14 โ€œYou are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”