Being A Better Person

Being A Better Person"Better" graphic by Prawny. Background Image by FelixMittermeier.

In January 2009, I watched on TV the concert that was part of the "Neighborhood Ball" of President Barack Obama's inauguration. It was a wonderful celebration. Beyoncé performed a song for the "first dance" for the new President and First Lady. Stevie Wonder, Sting, Mariah Carey, and many more sang...

Yet the thing that stayed with me the most is the comment made by Beyoncé when interviewed about her feelings after her performance. She said of Barack Obama:

"He makes me want to be a better person.

As I reflected on this later, I realized that this is the best compliment anyone could ever hope to receive. Just think about your own life... Think of the reactions and comments you may have made about others: "She/He makes me want to tear my hair out. He/she makes me sick... or He/she makes me so proud." Of course these are laying the responsibility for your feelings on the other, which of course is not where they belong. But my point here is about our own selves... about how we affect others by our presence and actions.

Being inspired to be a better person; inspiring others to be better people. What a vision for our own lives! That we would live our life so that not only are we a better person, but that our actions inspire others to be better persons. If we all lived up to our highest vision of ourselves, we would also inspire others to do the same.

Front Page News?

Another comment that comes to mind is one made by the daughter of President Lyndon Johnson when she was interviewed and asked about her experience of growing up in the White House. She shared that her mother, "Lady Bird", had told her:

Never do anything that you wouldn't want published
on the front page of the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Again... a good way to live. Imagine how our own pettiness would evaporate if we knew that all our actions and even our thoughts would be "front page news" and known by everyone.

Would we behave differently with the persons we feel annoyed with if we knew our actions would be "front page news"? Probably. I'm not suggesting that we live "to impress the neighbors", but rather that we live in such a way that we can be proud of all our actions... whether they are known or not...

When People Aren't Watching...

In the movie Seven Pounds, the main character (played by Will Smith) says:

When People Aren't Watching..." are a good man... Even when you
don't know that people are watching you.

So, yes we can be inspired and inspire ourselves -- and others -- to be a better person, even when no one else is watching... because after all, we are always seeing ourselves, and we are our greatest judge and jury.

Here's wishing that you have many people in your life that inspire you to be a better person... and that you are an inspiration for others.

Related Book:

I AM: The Power Within
by Linda Wright.

book cover: I AM: The Power Within by Linda Wright.Join author Linda Wright on a journey into awareness as she pulls back the curtain to expose the secret deceptions of man-made fantasies and reveals the key to activating your potential and finally unlocking The Power Within. Learn how to become accountable for the results of your focus, by finally taking responsibility for the consequences. Become empowered through understanding the effect of thoughts and the significance of words.

For More Info or To Order This Book.

About The Author

Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.

Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on


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