“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi
This quote has resonated with me for decades. I found myself talking about change today – as a I often do. I quoted Ghandi and normalized why change is so difficult for people, governments, religions, and powerful entities. It’s not only hard to create change within a system, it is equally difficult for the system to embrace substantial change. Although I talk about the semantics, psychology, and resisters of change, I don’t always validate the power it takes for change to come from within.
I feel like we want others to change with us. That’s a normal human emotion, we call it “belonging” or “attachment.” The opposite of belonging is alienation which may bring feelings of shame or resentment. A lack of attachment causes negative thoughts, feelings, and actions. Once you decide to make a change – especially one which goes against the norm – you face the consequences of social isolationism and ridicule.
I made changes with my diet to heal my son and improve my health. Extremism, that must be what I am turned to, right? Wrong! I learned how to heal my son from within (integrative medicine). The world we live in is filled with toxins and unhealthy foods. Making diet & lifestyle changes aligned with medical, scientific, and religious truths is not extremism…feeding my child toxic food is. Giving my child a toxic chemical bath is. However, these extremist actions have been normalized and glorified as the “way to live.” Therefore, it is easier to believe I am the radical. I understand, it’s not personal. It is systemic.
Today, I allowed myself to be proud of the changes I have embraced instead of fighting the systems which created the need for change. I want everyone around me to change, to support me, and to embrace my change. That has not happened. Instead of being filled with anger, I choose to be the change I want to see. I cannot change the world. I cannot change another person. I can change from within and pray that I help others change, one person at a time. That’s how we are the change we want to see in the world!