“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Many of us know this famous quote well. I wonder though, how often these words make us think of the world at large, and not the world right in our backyard?
It is easy to think about changing the world — the world far away, the world that isn’t close and personal, the world that I can happily imagine being made better by my influence.
It’s hard to think about changing the world that is close to me. The world that is my own family, in my own home, among my friends, my church community. The world that is my town or city. A world where that change can hurt me, personally and literally, because it is so very, very close.
This quote from Gandhi is a favorite that my husband, Manny, often says when he is talking to someone about life. He has said it so many times over the years that it is ingrained in me. I think of it often, especially at times of frustration with things wrong in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi’s words are powerful and worth reflecting on regularly. I can ask myself, ‘am I being the change I want to see in the world, the change I want to see in my home, in my family, in my marriage? The change among my friends, among my church family?’ You get the idea. These are hard questions, but necessary ones we must ask ourselves if we want to see change for the better in this world of ours.
You see, being the change in the closer and smaller places will indeed change the world at large. A small pebble tossed across the water causes a ripple affect. Changing the world isn’t just about starting some world wide revolution but about feeding our neighbor (literally the one we live by and interact with), clothing the naked (or seeing and doing something about the physical needs of those around us), listening to someone (loneliness is everywhere), opening our homes and hearts to those in need, loving each other, being patient with our kids, being kind to our spouse, thinking of someone else before ourselves — doing those things will revolutionize the world but it is done one person, one smile, one small act of charity at a time (as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say).
This was an interesting read, you can read the story behind the famous quote here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140813120052-14431679-the-story-behind-you-must-be-the-change-you-wish-to-see-in-the-world