Everyone wants to change the world.
Or at least I imagine that to be the case, since tragedies and atrocities run unbridled across our TV and phone screens on the news 24/7.
But not many people act upon that aspiration.
I mean, just look at Gandhi and Mother Theresa…who can really live like that today? I’ll be the first one to confess that it’s supremely difficult – if not downright impossible – for me to sell all my possessions and give to the poor.
But is there a false dichotomy here? In other words, must we live our lives either being able to change the world, or not being able to do anything about it?
As with all arguments, a definition would be quite helpful. How do you define “change”? How do you define “the world”?
If you define “change” as “eradicating global poverty” or “providing food and nourishment for every single starving person”, then I fear nobody in the history of the world has managed to impose “change” in the world. But what if you define “change” as actions on a much smaller scale, within the boundaries of your sphere of life?
What if “change” meant taking out the trash for your mum, or paying for the coffee for the person behind you, or helping the old lady cross the street, or standing up against bullies? What if “change” meant you doing something to address a need or an issue you see around you?
What if change didn’t need to be difficult?
Moving on. How do you define “the world”? The entire planet Earth? Your entire country? Have you every thought that global change happens through changing communities and neighborhoods? Whoever said meaningful change can only happen to the entire planet in one miraculous moment? When did “changing the world” become a spontaneous phenomenon? I’m not presenting anything new here – all I want to accomplish is for you to think and then act.
You can change the world.
That’s not an inspirational quote or a hopeful catchphrase to boost your mood. It’s simply a fact. When you think about it, every single action you take changes the world to some extent. If you decide to talk to that homeless man, you’re changing his world…and who knows what he will go on to achieve in life? If you decide to be nice to your nasty boss, you’re shifting his paradigm, showing him that it doesn’t have to be a “dog eat dog world”. The examples are endless, but it all starts with you. It can’t start with anybody else. If a hundred, a thousand, a million you‘s decide to change the world for the better today, can you imagine what would happen?
Perhaps it’ll be more beneficial to rephrase it:
You can change your community.
You can do one thing –