Waiting on the World to Change

We all have had lofty dreams of changing the world and making a difference. At times, I am so frustrated with all I see happening in our country, city and even our locality. We expect others to change – change their callous attitude towards the environment, the less fortunate and at times even towards us. Change the way things run in our country, the corruption, the greed, the selfishness…oh the list goes on and on and on! Many a time we may even catch ourselves expecting the same of our family and friends.

Can’t help but think of John Mayer’s song Waiting on the world to change

Changing the world seems impossible and that is because we are looking at it the wrong way. Focusing on changing people, social structures will only lead to conflict and negativity. At times, with all good intentions, we think of this as helping others. Yes, helping others feels good, and if we are making a difference, we should feel better, right?  Most of the time by helping others, we are actually just distracting ourselves from helping ourselves.

There’s this little story told of a philosophy professor catching his student at class staring out at the window gazing at a young lady. He told the student “What are you looking at? Rather than looking outside, take a look within and introspect!”

Very deep and profound…look within and see how you can improve yourself so that you attract her with who you really are. Similarly with change, why wait on the world to change, start small and start with changing yourself!

And this leads then to the Ripple Effect. If you have ever watched a ripple in a pond expand, or heard one person’s laugh result in a room full of laughter, you know how little actions lead to monumental movements.

If we all change a little, become a little better, and inspire others, through our actions, to do the same, together we can change the world. Start by making a small ripple in the pond.

For example, if we want everyone else to stop littering and cleaning, why not start by simply picking up what others have thrown in your own society/road. I still remember our English professor at Xavier’s, Verona Vaz, exhorting us to lead by example in the local trains. When you see someone about to chuck something out of the window, request them to hand it over to you. I still remember so many students having the side pockets of their bags always with biscuit packets and what not, collected simply from leading by example!

Changing the world seems daunting. However, the small changes you make each day eventually lead to big changes. Little by little, as you change yourself, you will become confident. You will become strong. You will become brave. Without even knowing it, you may change the world.

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