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You are a role model

Yesterday, I was explaining to someone why I very rarely get angry. We get angry when we expect someone to treat us a certain way, or to behave in a certain way and they fail to do so. We get angry because our expectations weren't met. It could be a friend, a stranger, the government, the stock market, a gadget, anything. If it doesn't behave the way we expect it to, we tend to get angry.

The reason I don't get angry very often is because when such a thing happens, I re-calibrate my expectations.

But re-calibrating expectations is not just about not getting angry. We are always re-calibrating our expenses. Jumping a traffic signal when nobody is on the road (often even when there are people on the road) is quite normal in India. And I used to do it all the time. But here in Amsterdam, that isn't the case. I wait for the signal to turn green. Because that is what everyone does.

Neither jumping the signal nor adhering to it was my default behaviour. But I acted out as most people around me did. Both in stopping and in jumping it.

The little decisions that we make, ones that seem so negligible and simple, are what we are becoming.

Big changes don't happen overnight. Cultural shifts don't happen overnight. Corruption won't end overnight. People won't stop being greedy overnight.

But over five years, ten years, hundred years, these changes are visible.

We are always becoming something.

And while at it, we are inspiring others around us to become something similar to what we are becoming.

Every time you do something, every time you take a seemingly meaningless and negligible decision, you are inspiring others around you to do the same. You are showing others around you that this is an acceptable way to do things.

We are all role models.

We are all changing the world around us.

But are we changing it into something better?

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