Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” But, what does this really mean? Can it mean something different to everyone? A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on change and how switching your perspective on change can help you ease into and accept changes that come your way. So, I believe Gandhi’s quote probably means something a little different to everyone with an overarching similarity. That being, we know in order to create a better world we must change from a judgmental, ego-based state to a more compassionate, loving state.
In changing yourself, you change the world around you. What this means is that when you start showing yourself love–taking care of you, setting up boundaries to know yourself, and you start being authentic around those you love (and even strangers) without putting on a mask for fear that people will not like what they see underneath, your world becomes kinder, more compassionate, and positive. This automatically has a ripple effect outward. For example, you are at the store in line to checkout, and the person in front of you is slow, talking to the cashier, counting out the exact change down to the penny, and you know there is somewhere else you’ve committed to be in about 10 minutes. You could choose to be passive-aggressive and sigh letting the person know you’re displeased with the time, or you could go inward. What about this is irritating? What feelings does this bring up for you? When you’ve answered those questions you’ll find it’s not the person in front of you but your own trauma (“a distressing or disturbing experience,” basically anything that made you feel unsafe at some point and time). This will allow you to feel compassion to, not only the person in front of you, but also to yourself. You will feel a sense of peace wash over you and know that no matter what you are okay in this time and place. You are still here. Nothing is wrong. No matter where you need to be in that 10 minutes, you will get there and everything will be all right. When the person in front of you finishes and walks away it’s your turn. You can now smile at the cashier who smiles back. You never know who needs that smile. That smile can help someone’s world. That smile will ripple out. Your acknowledgment of your feelings ripples out in a positive way, which, even though it seems insignificant, adds to creating a kinder world.
A part of us all know that we need to “walk the walk” when it comes to healing our world and helping all beings. But, it’s easy to get lost and caught up in our lives. It’s easier to sit back and browse through Facebook (I’m just as guilty) rather than stand up and take an active role in that change. Or is it? Again, “[being] the change” can be something that starts small and evolves into something more–helping someone carry their bags to the car, going out into nature to connect with the earth and remember your roots and your divine self, raising children with unconditional love, voting for justice, and even affirming love for yourself and the world in its entirety. Being the change can definitely grow into something bigger–you run for office to help those who need help, you become and activist, you study philosophy and really apply those principals to your everyday life.
In my blog on time, I talk about looking at each moment as an opportunity for growth. This applies to “being the change you wish to see in the world” because change, evolution, is growth. When you make a conscious decision everyday to live in a compassionate, loving way you are growing and you are being an example to others around you. Be that loving being you are at the core. That love is the true change that will facilitate healing needed on this planet.