The above quote is one of the most famous by Mahatma Gandhi. It is a wise quote on different levels. We must exhibit in our own lives the kind of change we wish to see in the world. If we wish to see more kindness in the world we ourselves must be kind. We need to be kind to humankind, not mean, cold and cruel. If we wish to see more love in the world we need to show our love to our loved ones. If we wish to see more understanding in the world we ourselves must strive to be more understanding. If we wish to see more humaneness in the world we ourselves must show ourselves to be humane in our relationships with others. This includes our personal relationships in our families, our professional organizations in the world and our relations with strangers we happen to meet on the street. We must be who we say we are in real life, in our daily existence, in our private moments when we are alone and in our being when we are out on the street.
I am a humane being. I strive to stay being a humane being; when I am alone, when I am in intimate settings or when I am at an open meeting. Being raised in a sick inhumane society, I was not raised to consciously be humane, especially outside the home and in the streets. When people think of the humane society they usually think about cats and dogs. Not of the kind of society we should be living in, that is, a humane society. We were not raised to be aware of being humane; we were not raised to think in terms of being humane. It was not instilled into us from childhood on to have tender care, true concern and loving compassion for others in society.
As children we were raised to be suspicious of strangers and for very good reasons, especially because there are many predators in today’s society. It has gotten worse since I was a child. Maybe you were raised up believing in the fiction of fairy tales and other kinds of mythology. Yet stop and think. How many of your friends were once complete strangers?
As adults we are told that this is a dog eat dog world, a rat race, a world that is hostile, dangerous and not to be walked into blindly without keeping our guard up. We divide the world into two distinct camps: a friendly camp of allies and an opposition camp of enemies. As if all the good guys are on one side and all the bad guys are on another side. Sometimes this way can get us stabbed in the back, even by someone who was supposed to be our brother. Sometimes a loving spouse can turn into your worst nightmare. Sometimes lovers become haters. So as we mature, we see that the world is not always as it first appears to us.
We look out at the world and see that there is much we need to change. If our eyes are wide open, we can see that much of the change we need to see take place in the world is deep change within us. When we work on creating change within us, getting rid of our character defects and removing our shortcomings, then we see the world outside has actually changed, because we have changed.
Yes, we still need to change the world; in fact, we need to transform the whole world as it is now from being a cruel world into being a good world where we can love each other without fear of being thought a naïve fool.
Yes, we still need to change the way we relate to each other; so we relate to each other with respect, dignity and honor as humane beings. No matter what our differences are, we should still be able to sit down and reason together.
Yes, we still need to change the government; in fact, we need to transform the government and erase the American Empire off the face of the planet Earth.
Yes, we still need to change the way we live our lives; so we are freed from the affliction of addiction in any form. All addiction is a harmful imbalance.
Yes, we still need to create many changes in many areas of our lives. The world is in sad shape, souls are being lost in unjust wars and in self-destructive lifestyles. Mercy mercy me, the ecology of the planet is in peril. The birds that should be flying free in the air have fallen dead to the ground in the hundreds. And we don’t know why. Yet despite the way the world is as it is the real deep change that must take place is in our own inner characters, our own humble hearts, indeed, our own inner souls. To change the world we need to change ourselves.
Open your eyes. Open your hearts. Open your minds. In life, change can be positive or negative. Sometimes change is subtle and subconscious. Changes are inevitable in life; spiritual growth as a result is an option. Let us embrace good positive changes. Use the wisdom of your common sense. Let us first change the world by changing ourselves for the better. If the change is good for us, then let us embrace the change. Let us never fear change, whatever change it is. Let us come together and help design the nature of the changes to come.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. ~VIA Reinhold Niebuhr ~ http://www.aahistory.com/prayer.html
Namaste, Peter S. Lopez AKA @Peta_de_Aztlan