sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How do you Change the World?

Billy McRaven explains how to change the world. I can call him Billy because he was 3 classes BEHIND me...
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. 
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed. 
It was a simple task–mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs–but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over. 
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. 
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. 
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. 
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. 
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed...
It's worth listening what Admiral William McRaven has to say about how you can change the world. It all comes down to building character -- something that modern education is not equipped to do.


Start each day with a task completed. 
Find someone to help you through life. 
Respect everyone. 
Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up–if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and— what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.




9 comments:

  1. Yep, he told it like it is... Good on him!

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    1. Now and then everyone is a 'sugar cookie' --- or a 'snickerdoodle'

      Understanding that failure is simply a component of experience and ultimately, of success, eludes many young people. Not ringing the bell when you think you've failed, and persevering makes all the difference.

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  2. Great speech by Admiral William McRaven.
    I have printed it out to enclose in the graduation cards for my graduating grandkids, prayers that they will be inspired.
    Modern education is only one piece of the character building puzzle, Families: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents are the biggest parts. So long as they do not abdicate their duty there can be change for the better.

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    1. Character trumps everything else. And you can't measure it with a written test.

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  3. Wisdom from the Admiral.

    You'll notice that hippies don't make their beds. They are also thieves.

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    1. The Occupy Wall Street crowd don't wash, make their beds. They are like the lilies of the field in that they toil not, neither do they spin. Parasites don't add much good to the world. And in the present environment they are glorified and are elected to high national office where the policies that they set are predictably awful.

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  4. Almost forgot. Didn't "character building" always presage something vastly unpleasant? No pain without, er, gain...

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    1. Character is built in many ways - most of them less than happy.

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  5. I sent this speech to my son (22 yrs)...he replied"great speech! Love it! P.S. I make my bed everyday."

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It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life