“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi
We are in an era where every man, woman and child is being called on to participate in our changing world in ways never before seen. We live in an interconnected global economy with technological influences that are rapidly evolving day by day. It’s actually a pretty exciting time to be alive.
But there’s great angst at this time as well. We are experiencing the growing pains of a changing world. And we really, really, REALLY don’t like it.
We’re All Complaining Like Little Children!
Our world is changing, and many of us don’t like it. We don’t like it for different reasons, but we don’t like it nonetheless.
Of course, there are things we don’t like about our society, our governments, our economies, our social systems, our neighbors, or schools. And we all have our individual opinions on what needs to change in order to make it better.
Increasingly, these complaints are dividing communities, dividing families, dividing countries, and causing far reaching distress. We are beginning to feel the emotional and psychological repercussions of being in perpetual conflict.
This conflict between people is growing and evolving like an organism, with the aid of social media. News feeds, and posts which are meant to be emotionally triggering are wreaking havoc on our mental health. We all seem to have gotten caught up in the whirlwind of finger pointing. Our opinions of what needs to happen, or what is wrong simply adding fuel to the fire.
There’s One Answer We are All Searching For
We all want the world to be a better place, we all want to be safe, secure, and stable. We all want to enjoy our life.
The answer to making the world a better place is for YOU to change.
We all need to stop pointing our fingers at one another and start looking in the mirror.
I don’t mean to say that more people need to volunteer, or give money to charities, or get a vaccine, or drive their cars less.
I mean look into the mirror and ask one simple question:
“Am I living in a way that supports the world I want to see?”
Are the ways I convey my opinions in alignment with my moral values?
Are my actions towards other people, any other person, promoting what I want to see in the world?
Are my daily activities congruent with who I want to be?
We Need to Grow Up!
The changes necessary in our world are only possible through individual growth and development.
We need to grow up.
We need to learn how to be the people in this world that a better world would be inhabited by. We are being called to learn how to think better, how to act better, and how to relate to each other better. When we learn these things, our world will inherently change.
You could continue to point your finger, or you could accept that we’re in this together and learn how to be part of the solution instead of part of the finger pointing problem. The solutions we need are absolutely unknowable to the type of thinking that currently dominates our world - which is why we’re in so much general conflict.
Learning How to Think
On an individual level we need to learn how to become more skillful in our thinking, so our thoughts, opinions, fears, and ideas don’t rule our lives in ways that cause us anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems.
The thoughts we have are what create the world we live in - or at least dictate the ways in which we interact with that world. When our thoughts are constantly creating conflict, this is exactly what we will see in the world, as well as what we will create in the world.
Just consider how many times you’ve gone into a conversation with someone already knowing that you are going to get into a fight. That’s a wonderful example of letting your thinking get the best of you.
The most simple element of learning how to think better is mastering the chaos of our thinking. Most of us have a mind that runs rampant all day long, and criticizes us and shames us. This chaotic mind also judges and shames virtually everything we see throughout the day. If this is how most people think all day. . .
. . . can you imagine the world you WANT to live in being inhabited by mostly people who have this type of mental skill? Well, you’re responsible for this in your own life.
Learning How to Take Care of Ourselves
A lot of what we criticize about our world has to do with how we take care of things. How we take care of the economy, how we take care of the planet, how we are taken care of as consumers, how the city takes care of the road. But the real problem is in how we take care of ourselves.
We need to become more skillful in the ways we act and take care of ourselves. How can we pretend to know what the world needs to do, when we can’t even make our bed in the morning, when we don’t know how to adhere to a schedule, when we don’t know how to commit to making positive and healthy changes for ourselves?
We need to stop pointing the finger when we struggle to do these same things.
Often, instead of looking at ourselves, at our own struggles, our own need to grow and develop, we project our shortcomings onto the world. We say “the world is going to hell in a handbasket,” and close our eyes to the fact that we have a lot of control over our own individual experience of the world, of our own lives.
Learning How to Relate to Others
What do your relationships look like? Are they supportive? Are they honest? Are they loving? Are they beneficial for everyone involved?
How often are you in conflict with others?
Do you communicate with your family? Do you get along with your parents? Your children?
We all have one or two people in our lives that push our buttons. But when we are constantly bothered by others, in conflict with our friends, and family, or annoyed and frustrated with basically everyone, the problem is most certainly with ourselves.
We need to learn how to relate to other people in ways that support each other.
Think of the world that you want to live in. Are you interacting with the people in your life like that?
These are big questions, but the reality of our situation as humans living on Earth right now, is that WE NEED TO LEARN AND GROW. Only then will we KNOW HOW to make the changes that need to be made.