“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Most of us are very familiar with this quote from Ghandi. There’s a lot of violence going on in the world right now. Some of it stays on the TV screen and doesn’t affect us directly, and for some of us, the violence and negativity takes place every day in our personal and family relationships. Some of us decide that enough is enough. We’re going to change the world, one way or another. We start thinking in grand terms of how we’re going to save the world from injustice. No one immediately thinks of changing themselves. Why change ourselves first? What’s that going to fix? Everything, really. Or maybe we live on the other extreme. We feel despondent, thinking there’s nothing we can do to help dampen the violence all around us. Who are we? What good can we do?
We imagine that we have no chance of influencing the world around us. But whether we realize it or not, we are doing exactly that every single day: influencing the world. That’s why it’s so important that we learn about our own minds and emotions. Our thoughts and actions ripple out from us and touch others whether we know it or not. Knowing this, we must commit to nurturing our own goodness, our own kindness towards ourselves and others. We have to learn to recognize what triggers aggression and violence in us and learn how to live peacefully with our thoughts and the thoughts and lives of others.
If we can learn to do that, I think we will be able to change the world, both our own, immediate worlds and the world around us. It will take incredible honesty, courage, and commitment, but we can do it. We can free ourselves from the cycle of negativity we’ve been stuck in for so long. We don’t have to be stuck forever. If we free ourselves, if we change ourselves, the world around us will eventually have no choice but to follow.
#be the change #buddhism #mindfulness