Thomas Carlyle’s response to this question was: “Reform yourself. That way there will be one less rascal in the world.”

Trying to control of influence someone else, to change them to do our bidding, is usually futile. Even if we actually succeed in doing so, the relationship usually suffers for it.

In our daily attempts to get things done, it is inevitable that we find ourselves relying on someone else’s input or participation. As we focus on and strive to achieve our own goals, it is natural and easy to find ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time and energy on cajoling, manipulating, or even threatening the other person to give us what we want. How much time do you spend trying to change someone else?

We all have our own world view. And we operate in accordance with that. If someone is not prepared to (or capable of) considering an alternative, you are just wasting your time trying to convince them otherwise. Even the law, which is no more than a consensus world view) finds it challenging to consistently “encourage” everyone to abide by it. What is reasonable for you may not be so for someone else!

Let’s face it, there are very few ways we can legally employ to make someone do something they don’t want to. And even then, the end result is never satisfactory to all concerned. It is far easier and more reasonable to change ourselves. After all, we are the only ones with control over ourselves. We are the only ones we can change.

Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world.” Stop trying to control what “they” will or won’t do. Do the right thing by your own sense of integrity and in accordance with your own truths. Life is so much easier that way.