June 6

Be the change that you
want to see in the world.

Mohandas Gandhi


Today's Meditation:

I want to see lots of change in the world.  I want to see people get along together better, I want to see more economic opportunities for people with fewer means, I want to see less war and more meaningful diplomacy, I want to see higher levels of education for our young. . . there's a whole lot of change that I think would be good.  The question that I have to ask myself, though, based on what Mohandas has said here, is "just how can I be that change?

I suppose that the first thing I have to do is ask myself if any of my regular actions run counter to anything that I really want to see.  Do I want to see more kindness, yet regularly perform unkind deeds, or simply fail to perform kind ones?  Do I want to see more compassion, yet fail to show compassion when situations arise that demand it?  Do I want to see less violence and anger on TV, yet then turn around and support the advertisers that sponsor that violence and anger?

There's a huge difference between wanting something and taking action to bring about that something.  It's very frustrating at times because I don't often see direct results of what I do or what I am.  I try to teach students to have stronger self-esteem and to make positive decisions, but those are lessons that often don't come into practice until years later.  I don't support advertisers that support negative entertainment, but I'll literally never know if my small action will have any sort of effect on the advertiser.

And I think that Gandhi knows this--and I think that the important part isn't the effect that my action might have on others; rather, the most important thing is the effect that my actions have on me.  When I follow my principles and live my life aligned with those principals, then I'm doing something positive that can't help but have a positive effect on my life, my self-image, and the ways that I affect other people in my life.  If I am the change I want to see, then I can legitimately claim the need for that change.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of change would you like to see in the world?  Is your life a reflection of how the world would be after the change comes about? 

What does it mean to you to "be" the change you want to see?

Why is it so often difficult to stick to our principals?

For further thought:

Change and growth take place when a person has
risked him or herself and dares to become involved
with experimenting with his or her own life.

Herbert Otto

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