If You Change Yourself, Then What Else Changes?
I once read about a man who wanted to change the world. He tried to change the world by starting an organization to help feed the poor in Africa. The organization didn’t work out. He thought he could simply collect food for donations, pack it and send the packed food to a mission in Kenya. Unfortunately, because he didn’t go through the “proper channels,” his donations weren’t accepted.
Let’s continue the story, using some fact and some fiction, along with a reasonable amount of “what-if’ing” and follow this man’s journey toward changing the world.
Next, the man tried to change his nation. He started a new political party that would reflect his concern regarding feeding the poor. The new party was quickly overwhelmed by the Republicans and Democrats and soon was unable to garner enough votes and/or support to be recognized by the media.
Following the attempt to change his nation, he focused on changing the city he lived in. He ran for and won an alderman’s position on his city government. After some initial success at getting the city government to encourage local restaurants to donate food to the poor, he had serious problems getting the food that was donated to be approved by the health commissioner of the city. Soon, the program failed!
The man considered his family and thought, briefly, that perhaps he could change the world by changing his family. He realized, of course, that he was part of his family. To change his family, he would have to change himself. If he focused on changing himself, someone he could change without any outside interference, he realized that only then would he have the power to make change.
When trying to change the world, nation, city and family, it takes more than a didactic lesson of change. It takes the person who is facilitating the change to change.
You see, in order for our world to change, WE must change. There is so much power for positive change in each person. The only way we can help this world, is for each of us to begin the change now.
Recently, I saw the movie, Pay It Forward. In the movie, a middle school student proposes a way to change the world by paying it forward, which can be described as a charitable pyramid scheme, based on good deeds rather than profit. “Paying it forward” means the recipient of a favor does a favor for a third party rather than paying the favor back. The middle school student proposed and did a favor for three people, asking each of them to return the favor by doing favors for three other people, and so on, creating a branching tree of good deeds. In the movie, the world was changed for the better when an extremely large number of people were positively affected due to this one act by a middle school student.
So, if you change yourself, then what else changes? Only, the world!
Ok, Ok, I can imagine what you are thinking. “Just because I change, it doesn’t mean the world will change.” Yes and No!
You are part of the world and the most important person who can change that part.
When a part changes, does that constitute a change in the whole? Yes, especially if that part is an important part. Aren’t you an important part of the world?
For a change, let’s “pay a comment forward!” :-)