03 June 2016

START WITH YOURSELF

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

The influence of an individual is powerful. Negative examples are as powerful as positive ones. How many times have you been a witness of a ridiculously familiar situation where, for instance, parents get reproached by their offspring for doing something they forbade to do in the first place. When someone watches others do certain things, a natural question "Why can I not do the same?" is going to born in their mind. It is not right to ask others do or do not do things that you yourself are not willing to start or give up doing. 

It works both ways. Think for a moment. If you suddenly start collecting all the rubbish you were supposed to leave behind after a picnic; if you never mistreat your child when  you see a furious mum yelling at her 5 year old; if you randomly smile to a passerby, maybe someone else shall be moved by your example, if not ashamed of not following it. Big change starts with a little step.

We all talk about how changes are important, how imperfect the world we live in is. Nevertheless, it is always easier to require other people to change than do something to make the change happen. Most of us consistently leave rubbish in the streets, ignore injustice towards the weaker, continue lying and so forth. We all acknowledge the value of change, but when it comes to us being the ones who must face changes, majority of us just drop out. If you think about it, what you really want is others to change, not you. 

Changing the world for the better starts with changing your own little universe. More often than not in order to make this happen it is necessary to leave your comfort zone and start doing the things you had been reluctant or lazy to do before.

You don't do this to make others happy, you do this to make happy yourself, first of all. It is you who wants to live in a clear environment, it is you who wants to be surrounded by kind, compassionate people with high moral and values, and it is you who wants to make sure your children don't live in a world dominated by danger, evil and pain.

Stop asking of others, ask of yourself. Improve the quality of your life in order to make your surrounding a better place to live in. Making your own life a beautiful and worthy one will have a profound impact on others, it will serve as a great role model for everyone else in your community. Inspire.

In conclusion, let me cite the words, that are believed to be written on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in London, England:

"When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,
I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I
discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my
sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But, it too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt,
I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but 
alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had 
only changed my self first, then by example I would have 
changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have
been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have 
even changed the world."

Is it idealistic? Yes. Hard? By all means. But no one promised it would be easy. There is very little one person can do, but if each and everyone sets out to make at least a little change as opposed to indulging in cynicism, and starts doing so with himself, a real impact is possible. Changing the world takes courage, and don't ever let anyone make you believe you are not brave enough to make the change possible.
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