“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I would be extremely remiss, if I did not share this quote, for it is one that has guided me for as far back as I can remember. Plus, it is from one of my hero’s who inspires me immensely. Being the “Change” is not always easy, it can often be quite challenging. The other reason I share it today, is that it’s my son’s 19th Birthday, the perfect day to share a quote that I have watched him embody since he was a child. At four years old I found him bagging granola for the homeless, we had not even talked about homeless people, he just knew. I have been blessed to watch him treat others as he wishes to be treated, stand in his truth when it was not easy and struggle when he feels his actions may not be what someone else wants him to do.
Why do I love this quote so? For me personally it summarizes and invokes the one thing we can ALWAYS do and be, “The Change We Wish To See In The World”. We cannot change another person, we can only change ourselves. If we “Do as I say, not as I do”, our credibility is completely nonexistent. Who wants to follow that type of role model, not I.
As a parent this quote was HUGE for me. How can I ask my children to “go for it”, if I am not willing to? How can I encourage them to dream, if they do not hear and see me going after my dreams? Who am I if I share with them to forgive, when I myself cannot forgive? What truth can I expect from them, if I cannot personally be open and share my REAL TRUTH with them? How can I expect them to be funny, light, silly, and full of life, if I myself do not embody such actions?
The awareness that I must be the change I wish to see in the world has played in my heart, mind, and soul throughout my life. As a junior high teacher, oh my!! They are smart, they are watching, they are observing to see if you “walk your talk” – you better believe I stand up to embody what I teach and admit with truth the times I fall down. As a manager, as a salesperson, as a caregiver, as an optical specialist, etc.., it does not matter what I do, how I do it and show up is what gets noticed, it impacts everyone.
For me this one simple line shares the most profound truth. If we all choose to be the change we wish to see in the world, what might happen? Do you tell others to do something you yourself will not do? Do you ask your children to behave a particular way that you are not willing to be? Here is a big one, do you look out at others living a life you wish you were living, yet you are not willing to take action steps towards manifesting that for yourself? Is it everyone else’s fault that your life is the way it is, you expect it to all change, yet you will not change yourself?
A seed does not grow without changing. An author does not become published without writing. One does not become a dancer by only watching. The canvas of your life is what you paint it to be. How do you want the world to be? Are you being that?
May today be full of joyful embodiment of that which you dream possible, even in the sweet small moments.