Be the Change

Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

This is a wonderful maxim to keep in mind and one that I have, over time, tried to incorporate into my everyday life. For example; I try to be positive and spread that positivity to others as best I can. This means that if life is particularly trying one day, or if stresses are becoming more pronounced, I actively need to summon this positivity rather than it being a natural occurrence. 

Now is this invoked positivity any different than it being natural? I think not! Positivity is positivity, negativity is negativity. So if I was having a hard day, and being positive is not coming naturally, I would think about everything I have to be grateful for: my family, my health, my home… This process can go on indefinitely, or until one is feeling more positive than they were. And I would find (and you will to, if you tried this process of gratitude) that my outlook has become far more optimistic, which was what I wanted to achieve by thinking about everything I have to be grateful for. 

We have an innate choice that we can make each moment. Positive or negative. Optimistic or pessimistic. Heaven, or Hell. Up, down, left, right, happy, sad, black or white. Etc. Etc. Through free will, we can and must choose how we will react to external influences, and conduct ourselves. 

Again, I could say that trying to be the change I wish to see in the world is one of my reasons for sharing this blog. The sharing of beneficial information that I feel would enrich the life of the reader, especially if they made the effort to research the idea. Simple, short pieces about things which are of interest to me, and anything I think would be of interest and inspiration to others. Fragments of information, of ideas, of concepts. This would be a form of activism in regards spreading and living my change. 

For if I were not sharing, where would we hope to find information of this nature? The mainstream media? I’m not so sure. 6 corporations own 90% of all media in the US, and I am quite sure it is a similar statistic regarding the UK’s media network. The people that own the means for conveying information have an agenda which is not in conformity to the enlightenment movement.

I am not saying that all this is easy. It is much easier to sit around talking about how and why you would change things, than it is to become active and start living the change, without saying a word! We must start making decisions that will have a positive influence on our lives. We have that power, and we must use it. 

Maybe your change wouldn’t be positivity or sharing information. It might be fairness, or equality, or a particular movement that you feel strongly about. Whatever it is, if you feel passionate about it and this post only helps to stoke your fire, get active and become the change you wish to see in the world. 



Filed under Harmonious Development, positivity

3 responses to “Be the Change

  1. Matthew A

    A very well put together article as always Lewis. An excellent thought as well, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’.


  2. Anders Kassem

    Yes, I certainly agree with this contention.

    In cultivation sciences, there’s a wonderful parable called the poisoned arrow. A man, wounded with a poisoned arrow, when arriving at the doctor, immediately exclaims: “I will not have this arrow removed until I know not only who did it, but from which clan/sect this man was, and why exactly they chose me as a target. I want to know exactly what type of arrow this is, I want to know exactly how many people were involved” on and on the man requiring more and more details about the nature of this arrow. The man, obsessed about these details, ends up dying because he did not simply focus on the cause of his suffering, the poisoned arrow itself.

    This is of course a metaphor for the fact that suffering exists in this world, and that there is a method out of suffering, and that questions about why and hows are not truly relevant before one has already moved beyond one’s personal suffering. What importance does prophecy or the nature of the immaterial realms have to your own personal suffering? It will only move you away from cultivation and into anxious states of mind.

    Similarly, when we become angry at the world for being this way or that way, asking many questions about why exactly is the world this way and not another way, requiring to understand every little detail about how and why things are the way it is, we are moving ourselves on an errant path. Is it not clear that going down such a road brings much suffering? Just look around. Instead, find the source of your suffering, and follow the path of ending suffering.

    As you elegantly mention in this piece, one should look inside, and remove the poisoned arrow which is causing the suffering. And you share a wonderful technique here to begin that process. It is realizing one’s own gratefulness. This is the first step. Anything that involves a letting go of one’s ego, a falling away, a surrendering, this is submitting to the Tao of things.

    As Krishnamurti says: “The silence is the benediction.”


    • It makes me think of the four noble truths:

      “1. Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

      2. Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for disbecoming.

      3. Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

      4. Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.”

      As long as we recognise our own suffering, and gain knowledge in the fact that there is a way to remove this suffering from its root in the mind. Then work tirelessly towards this aim.

      Thanks for your comment!


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