Be the change you want to see”.
Who said that? Well I have no clue, and I could look it up but instead I will let it remain mysterious and profound. Or I’ll look it up when I’ve finished writing this.
I always liked the phrase “Be the change” but have also found it to be one of the most difficult things to achieve – for me personally that is. I mean, there are lots of things I want to change, but can I also be them? Well I’m not too sure about that one.
I have a friend who is moving to another country and I’m astounded by her ability to recognise the things that make her happy and just go for them. She visited this country with friends, had an amazing time and realised life was too short to hope that someday in the future she could move there. She just made it happen and I’ve always admired that about her.
I on the other hand have a track record of deliberating over every big decision in my life, almost until I’ve forgotten why I wanted to do it in the first place. Usually when I make a decision to drastically change something, there is an assumption that my reasons are either:
- I have no choice
- I’ve given it at least two years of thought
- I’m running away from something.
At one point all three of these were true, but more recently none of them are.
I’ve written about change before, but I suppose this is much more about making the decision to change. There’s a belief that if you’ve been doing something the same way during the first thirty years of your life, you’re unlikely to change. I’m not sure that I like that belief, but I can understand it. However, if I’m trying to change the status quo, then I can’t possibly go on believing that right?
I don’t see what’s so wrong with making a spontaneous decision once in a while either, and just going with your gut. I’m planning on eventually moving into my own place and it’s throwing up all kinds of questions about whether I’m doing the right thing and what the future holds for me. I’m convinced that as an adult I should have all the answers but as we all know deep down, this is complete nonsense.
The fact is that no one has all the answers or any clear view about what will actually happen in the future; not even if they’re wearing a headscarf and fondling a crystal ball.
The only thing I know is that I’m not feeling great in the living arrangements that I have now and something needs to change. And since my current abode isn’t going to magically convert into a one bedroom fully furnished flat with a balcony overlooking the city, I’m going to have to be the one that changes.
Life is so damn short and we really only get one; unless you believe in reincarnation and you’re treating this life like your first pancake, in which case well done. Change is a challenge and you can’t know how it’s going to affect you; only that it will probably help you grow somehow. But you have to be open to it, especially if you’re not happy with the current way of things.
As Mahatma Ghandi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. Obviously he was referring to humanity and how we improve ourselves as a race, but in my view everything has to start with the individual.
Step one: Be the change in yourself.
Step two: Be the change in the world
Image credit: Mahatma Ghandi by Ralf Schmitzer from the Noun Project