Being the change

Sometimes the most accepted principles are the most difficult to live out. I don’t know when I first heard the statement “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It was probably when I came to college. Since then, it’s become standard fare to say “Be the change”.

But how? How to effect change in a world with so many challenges? Lately, I’ve found the answer to this: You become the change when you realize that no one else can do it for you. You ask “Who will make the difference?” and you realize it must be you.

Sometimes people make a distinction between fate and destiny as follows: Fate is what you are given to live out when you are born. Destiny is what you can choose to live out if you live with intention.

I believe each of us has a unique destiny, endowed upon us by God (if you believe as such) or by the Universe or by our unique soul. For one person, that might mean a life of scholarship in pursuit of a cure for cancer. For another, it might be much of her life spent in a developing country. And for another, it might mean doing her best to work and raise a family.

What matters isn’t what you choose to do. What matters is that it is a choice, and that it is consistent with your calling. And we do have a choice in everything, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

How do you become the change you wish you see?

  • If you think the world needs more kindness, be kind.
  • If you think the world needs better listeners, listen.
  • If you think the world needs love, be loving.

Notice that none of these dictates or precludes any particular vocation. Rather, to use another commonly-expressed truth, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” The manner in which you live will determine your destiny.

Sometimes the most simple truths are the hardest to live out: Speak the truth in love; forgive yourself and others; and be the change.

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