Saturday, March 11, 2017
Be the Change in the World
One of the things that Heather emphasized in her suicide note was that she didn't want to be in this world. While the thought of never seeing her again tears my heart out, even after over 15 months, I can either just agree with her or make the changes in myself that I want to see. When my girls were little, I did my best to be my best me. Kids learn by example, so I tried to lead by example. Unfortunately, over time, I gradually accepted the worst in the world as our reality. Shame on me!
Let's do a little reality check. I know I think the world is a pretty crummy place to live. I know that Heather agreed with me. She literally told us that in her suicide note. How many more of us agree that the world could use some massive improvements? Are our politicians going to change the world and make it a better place? (OK, you can stop laughing now at that thought.) We have all come to know, for the most part, our politicians are basically out for themselves. I, personally, fear that the only change to our politicians is going to come in the form of a revolution and I am not really ready to see American Revolution 2. Let me ask you again another way. Who is going to make our world a better place? I think we can all agree that our answer is not going to be our politicians. If not the politicians, then who?
We need to search ourselves and find the answers there. The idea to be the change in the world that we want to see is not a new thought. Mahatma Gandhi said it best. "We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do."
You could tell me that this is easier said than done. You are absolutely right! We all need to take responsibility for our own lives. If we want a better life for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, our friends, etc., we need to start with ourselves. There is no easy solution. You can't make others change, you can only change yourself. Now you may ask, how do I do that? How do I know what areas I need to change? I can't answer that for you, I can only answer that for me, and that answer is going to change as I change and take responsibility for the things that I don't like in my own life.
I have to take my life and make it the best I can. I am the only one that can change the world that I live in. My grandson, Carter, is 4. I watch Carter while my daughter, Amy, is at work. By spending so much time with him, I am giving him a little part of myself, each moment I spend with him. Do I want him to be his best? Then I have to be my best. I have to surround him with a better world. Carter imitates what we do so the better I am, the better he will be. Yesterday, I decided I was done with so much that I was seeing on social media. The language that is being shared around, at times, can be atrocious! I can't control what others post, but I can let my feelings be known. Some will listen, and some won't.
Yes, I can stop following some people that repeating share things, but instead of just doing that, I am going to start to make the change. I am going to watch what I say and try to better my world that way. I am going to watch what I like and what I share. Some of the articles are great, some make me laugh, etc. Instead of just liking them or sharing them, I am going to be a little more careful. Some of them use words (or names of pages, etc) that I would rather Carter not pick up - and there are others, very similar and that get the same point across, without using words that I don't want him to say. I can't change how the world uses certain words, but I can change the ones that I use and might share - sometimes without even thinking.
We each have to decide what we want our world to look like and strive to be our best. I, personally, don't want a world that is full of swearing. So, I will make some changes in my life that will help me achieve that goal. Another thing I don't want in my world is racism. To that end, I look for the common denominator in my world. We are all human. So, while there may or may not be aliens in the world, I don't think I currently know any of them, but I know people from all over the world, I know people of all different religions and all different colors.
I'm not going to change our government and convince them to stop classifying people by their color and/or beliefs, but I can make sure I'm not encouraging those that do. Think about those classifications for a minute. Who do they benefit? They benefit the businesses so they can target certain races instead of others. They stereotype people into categories and we are all guilty of that at one point or another, but again, I can work to try to minimize that and improve myself.
When I was younger, there were a lot of block parties. You had barbecues and fun with your neighbors. How many of us even know our neighbors? I saw a video on Facebook some time ago, and it was great. A woman came home from work and everyone just went into their apartments, where everyone sat on their electronic devices and well, that was life. I want to live in a world where we don't just do hibernate all time. Yes, this is a big one for me. I tend to hibernate a lot - before and after Heather. I have to admit, I gave up on a lot of the world and was just tired of it all. Anyway, back to the video, this girl had it. She pulled out a table into the hallway of their apartment, and gradually, they had all their neighbors bring out more tables and chairs and joining them. While I can't remember who made it, it really made me smile and made me remember some of the block parties that were going around as I was growing up. We had a few friends over the other night - just a random get together, and we all had a lot of fun. We made things with the kids and made dinner together. It was an early night because everyone had work the next day, but it was still a great time. I want more times like that in my life also!
What do you want to change in your world? What changes can you make that will make your world a better world for you to live in? What type of world will make you want to live your life to the fullest? What changes can you make, starting today, to make your world a little better? Let's take some responsibility for our own lives and make them the best they can be.