I read on facebook a couple of days ago ‘If you cannot be the example, do not teach the words’, which to me translates into ‘If you can’t walk the walk, then don’t talk the talk’, this has stayed with me and I wanted to share my thoughts. I see the relevance with how children learn what the live, what they see their parents and the adults around them doing, not what they are told, so saying one thing and doing another can be very counterproductive when parenting. I also see how we can be blind to our own hypocrisies, like when we give awesome advice to a friend which we don’t follow ourselves, when we judge someone else yet do the same thing or when we preach a higher path while living in turmoil and chaos. I still felt unsettled with this statement though, what wasn’t sitting right for me was my understanding that all that exists, every thing and every person is an example of what and who we are, what we have to learn, the word that is there for us to hear, is no more valuable from the spiritual teacher than someone consumed in their suffering, wisdom is no greater in the oldest tree than a new blade of grass, the presence of source is no stronger in the rarest corpse flower than in the common daisy. What we can lose site of as we sit in judgement of the validity of the word and the quality of the example is the learning that is inherent in every moment, in every thing, in every person, each persons talk is their walk, even if that walk is hypocrisy or deceit, it will be seen and heard, there is something to learn. So I guess for me at this time the statement ‘If you cannot be the example, do not teach the words’ doesn’t seem applicable and I will leave you with a closing thought – Be open to who the student and who the teacher is in each moment, teachers do not usually present themselves with a convenient name tag so we know when to pay attention, teaching and learning is a continuous interplay with no fixed roles, we are both teacher and student so do not be afraid to share YOU for you also have something of value to teach.