- Mahatma Gandhi once said, “ You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
What comes into your mind when you hear the phrase ” be the change you want to see”?
I am sure most of us although we use these phrases all the time, we don’t really go deeper to look a the meaning of it. But today I want us to go a little deeper than just using the words.
So what does it even mean to be the change you want to see in the world?
I am sure what Mr. Gandhi meant when he uttered those words was taking accountability for your own actions. Taking responsibility for your actions and your life. Being better than who you were yesterday. Be an example to the world.
In other words, although life can be hard, and things happen in life that we may not have full control over, how we choose to react is completely on us. So life can throw a curveball at you and people can be impossible to deal with at times but you always have to rise above it all. Because you are only responsible for your actions.
The world is not fair
When you look very closely around you, you will see a lot of unjust and unfair things going on in the world right now. There is a corona pandemic that has killed millions of people around the globe. People are losing jobs left and right, innocent children are losing their parents. In the midst of all this, the weather is terrible, yet some people are homeless and have nowhere to lay their heads. talk about unfair and unjust…..
Change takes time
The truth is, we all want to see the people around us do better or be better versions of themselves. We try so hard to hold our friends, families, colleagues, and even strangers accountable. We insist on them changing and we become angry and frustrated when they don’t change. But what we forget is that people are different and everyone does what they want to do anyway. Everyone is on their own journey and change may take longer for one person than the other.
People change when they want to change and no amount of nagging, complaining, or shaming will speed the process. What really does change a person is him/herself. People have to be willing to change, otherwise, you will waste your time for no reason. Change takes time.
Be the change you wish to see
Remember, We all can use a little work on ourselves, so stop focussing on others and what they can do better. Give people time to go through their process of change on their own. We all grow and we change because change is inevitable. Who we are today is completely different from who we were a year ago or even yesterday.
Change is a necessary tool but it must start from us. We all have to be willing to do our parts.
This confirms one of my favourite quotes, which is from Alan Watts,
“the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
This means that as people, if you want to see true change in the world, then we must join the race.
So today, I’m throwing a challenge at you, whenever you feel the urge to judge others or feel like you have the right to change others, make it a point to do better than that individual.
Do you want to see people respect you? Then start by showing respect to those people.
Sometimes as human beings, we love to point fingers and insist on telling people how disrespectful they are but have you asked yourself, do you even give those people respect?
Instead of preaching humility to others, why don’t you live by example? Don’t just talk about it and expect people to change, just do it. If you do it genuinely, over time people will learn from you. So don’t force anyone to do anything, allow them to come to the realization on their own. Remember, the only person you can truly change is you.
I know it is easy for you to be frustrated by others and start overreacting, become angry, mean and bitter.
However, it is important to not feed into negative energy. Everyone in this world is facing something, one way or the other, so be kind and choose to react differently. Make a conscious effort to be better.
Start with the first step and extend an act of kindness to someone today. By choosing to be kind, you choose to say no, to evil and cruelty.
next time when you see a crying child, smile to them, because by smiling to them, you give them hope and something to smile back at.
when you see a struggling mother with little kids, instead of judging her, lend her a helping hand or allow her to go before you. By helping her, you release her of some of her struggles and that makes her more relaxed and less cranky.
Ask your neighbour who is alone and old every now and then if she/he needs help.
Offer your seat to that elderly or disabled person who just entered into the bus…. Yes, get up!!!
Put your phone away and greet someone. Have small talks in the bus with the person sitting next to you.
Compliment people and smile randomly.
The moral of the story is, when you meet people, whether they are being disrespectful, rude, obnoxious, or unkind to you, remain yourself. Because if you decide to indulge in those actions with them, it says more about you than them. You can not blame your actions on others.
It is easier than you think
Whether you agree or not, making a difference or change in the world is not as hard as we may think.
Making a difference does not mean going to stand on top of the mountain and start shouting for everyone to start doing better. Because no one person can change the world on their own but you can learn to make the world around you a little better. We can all make little efforts here and there to make a difference with our lives and actions in this world.
make the world a better place
I am a firm believer that we are all put in places and in situations for a good reason and that is simply to make a positive change. So be the change you want to see in the world because your world depends on you.
In the words of Viktor E. Frank, “when we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
This quote is so true in the sense that because we don’t live on island by ourselves, sometimes it might be impossible to change certain situations but when that happens, we have to work on choosing to do the right thing.
Therefore to be the change, we will need to live by example. We must change our way of thinking, which is to convince others to change, start leading by example. Challenge yourself to be a good human being. And when you do that, trust me, others will follow.
Be bold to say, this is wrong so I refuse to take part. Stand against evil by doing the right thing. It is easier to join the crowd and do evil but chose the path of kindness and righteousness. Sometimes, choosing this path can leave you all alone and by yourself but that is okay, you will be fine.
Lead with compassion and grace. To be able to change the world, you will need a lot of compassion and grace. Because you can not change what you don’t understand. So learn to understand people, have empathy and extend grace wherever and whenever necessary. Understand that we are all different and so we may approach things differently.
The world is full of chaos and in turmoil right now, but if you want to make change then create a peaceful atmosphere around you. Peace calms s storming sea.
Peace can also calm a distressed heart so make a change by creating peace.
It is hard to love when all you get back is hate. But today I plead with you to choose LOVE over hate.
Choose grace and forgiveness over judgment and retaliation.
Choose right over wrong.
Choose to lead by example by doing what you wish others to do.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.