Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Note: In my haste to go downstairs to watch the VP debate yesterday, I forgot to publish this… so mind you, you should have seen it yesterday.

No, this isn’t about politics. This is about something much bigger and much more important to me: the world.

Now you might say, that’s silly. Everyone cares about the world. I’m not sure about that. Everyone cares about their position in the world. The world is more then just a collection of individuals. Call me naive, but I believe in world peace, relatively speaking. I think everyone has the ability to make amends and come together. Some will have a very hard time (Bill O’Reilly?) granted. But I think everyone has within them the ability to see the world in a better light. I believe everyone is connected (just check out Matt). And for the last 3 years, I’ve been taking part of “National Be the Change Day”, formerly “National Ghandi Day of Service”, a day to commemorate the man who issued the most famous quote I titled this story with: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

I can’t begin to tell you how much respect I have for this man. My Jain upbringing taught me fighting is not as powerful as peace. Fighting breaks bodies, not minds. I will never cease to be amazed how the son of a politician absorbed religious values from multiple religions and became the quintessential father of India. A revolutionary who changed the world not with action, but with inaction. What’s saddest is the world knows him, but very few learned the lessons he taught by showing us.

I’ve raved a bit about Jamie Foxx’s movie “The Kingdom.” It’s very stirring, because to me it teaches one lesson: violence only breeds violence; the only solution to violence is understanding. And so today, I remember Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. There are so few people like him in the world, and with all the fighting in the world, I truly believe the only end-all solution is from the lessons he taught us: don’t fight, understand. There are dozens on dozens of quotes you can get from the man that make you wonder, why fight?

And the take him from him is to understand in your daily life. The co-worker who snapped at you this morning may be going through troubles at home and doesn’t deserve your disdain. The man you met on the street who bumped into you might have been distracted from a family member or friend in the hospital. And I’m not saying everyone has a reason for negative actions, but responding to negativity with negativity only perpetuates the cycle. Take a minute to think about your actions, and your day will be much better. Its not “new age” mumbo-jumbo… They’ve been doing it in India for centuries.

I also want to take a minute to plug the most influential person in my life that I’ve had the honor of meeting twice. Nipun Mehta is the most inspiring and genuine people I’ve ever met, and has inspired me in so many ways. Learn a bit about him at his blog, and take a chance to visit and learn about his project, Smile Cards. Smile Cards are a way to stir up anonymous acts of random kindness through a “pass it on” mindset. Its worth exploring (I never leave home without Smile Cards in my wallet) and its worth taking a look at some of the heart warming stories on there. If nothing else, feed my ego and search for the stories under the username “Keleth” (I’m ashamed to say I haven’t posted a story on there in over a year).