“Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” - Mahatma Gandhi
It sounds so cliche and oversimplified. Doesn’t it? When we think of all of the world’s problems…poverty, hunger, environmental tragedies, natural disasters…how can we possibly have an impact when we are just one small individual in this whole big-ass world. The problems of the world are Just. Too. Big.
The changes nearest and dearest to my heart that I want to see have to do with the environment and wildlife. Forget global warming. Forget global climate change. Let’s just talk about how we live on this big blue marble, shall we? Our consumption of “things” and our devastation to “earth” is beyond words. We have gotten so desperate in dealing with our trash, that garbage has become a far-too-accepted piece of our landscape. Seashells, crabs and plastic live side by side, under the big beautiful sun, on the beautiful sands of our beaches. If this isn’t a problem, I really don’t know what is.
I’ve never been an activist per se, but I have been passionate. And truth be told, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and might as well have a stamp on my forehead: “Ask ME for a donation .” Causes, such as the Midway Film Project compel me to give and leap into a social media frenzy trying to help them get their message out to the world. I find myself donating to animal shelters, the WWF, the orphaned elephants in Kenya , and countless other groups associated with saving our planet and the godly creatures that dwell upon it. I feel a huge tugging, constantly, to DO something. And yet, I often feel helpless.
Today, my view has changed. I’ve become the hokey subscriber to “Be the Change You Want to See in the World.” After years of prodding, a family member finally took action to recycle. It wasn’t because they didn’t want to do it, but life sort of just got in the way. With every can and bottle that would get thrown in the trash, I’d cringe. It became a bit of a joke after awhile, but deep down inside, it killed me. Just today, she informed me that recycle bins have been purchased, filled, and are out at the curb for pick up. It may sound silly, but “pride” does not begin to describe the way I felt in hearing this new status. She may not realize it, and if she does, I hope she understands, the pride isn’t about her specifically, it is about the ability to create change.
Change can’t happen without instigators. And if you are one instigator that has the ability to impact one other person, you have succeeded. Without you, change can’t exist. Remember that. It is with your simple suggestion…a prod…a nudge…a desire to educate or to help others understand the importance of what you believe in that makes this world a better place. Every single one of us is inherently good. We WANT to do what’s right. Sometimes, however, life gets in the way. Sometimes we need a friend, a loved one, a colleague to push us in the right direction.
Don’t ever stop trying. Change will happen. And it is you we have to thank.
Have you had an impact on someone and made change happen as a result? What was the change? What did you do?