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If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves.
--Carl Jung

Children are smart. Remember how we used to imitate our parents' behavior? We'd dress up like them, mimic their words, even copy their attitudes. We wanted to be just like them because we thought they were the most wonderful people in the world. We can see this happen all around us, younger ones imitating parents, older brothers and sisters, and older friends. It's very flattering.

The problem is that children imitate not just healthy behavior and attitudes, but also sometimes the not-so-healthy. We get very uncomfortable when we look at a younger person misbehaving and see ourselves in that person. Suddenly, we aren't flattered any more.

When we see things we don't like in others, we must first look at ourselves to see if we need changing. This is all we can do--change ourselves. Others may follow our example or they may not, but we can be sure that, when we watch our own behavior, most of what we see of ourselves in others will be flattering.

What change can we make to set a good example today?

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