Sweep in Front of Your Own Porch

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Test 3 “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Imagine if each one of us did just that. We swept in front of our doors and let others do the same—no shoulds, ifs, or buts. How would our world look like? It would be heaven on earth—a clean and beautiful blue planet where everyone takes care of his or her responsibilities. Sounds really simple. But how come our world is filled with trash? The obvious answer is: not everyone is sweeping in front their own door and being responsible for their mess. Then there is the garbage that others throw in front of your door and walk away. They don’t pick it up, and they don’t seem to care. Thinking about others not doing their part and adding more to their (and your) trash is disheartening, and this leads to the complaining addiction. The most common (and conditioned) reaction when things don’t work out according to our expectations is to complain. It feels easier to complain about a situation than trying to change it. We might think that it’s impossible to change the entire world—and it is—so we passively sit and continue to complain. While complaining may seem easier, it comes with a sinister cost. It casts a shadow of helplessness and victimhood and it compounds the issue. Nothing ever changes because of criticism alone. If everyone complained and no one picked up the trash, the situation would stay the same (at best). But most likely it would worsen—the trash is not going to pick itself up, and will continue to pile up. Instead of complaining, we can do something by first realizing that we have a choice. You’re not responsible for the entire world’s trash and problems. None of us is. But we all have a choice, we can do nothing and add to the trash that’s piling up. Or, we can continue to clean in front of our doors. We can even choose to add a touch of

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