Be the change you wish to see in the world.
When Gandhi spoke these words to the world, he was encouraging us to choose a path of wisdom as opposed to a path of fear. In his interpretation of an ancient yogic text, The Gita According to Gandhi, he describes these two life paths as follows:
In today’s vernacular, we might use different language to describe these life choices. For example, in a recent conversation where fault-finding found its way into the dialogue, I stumbled upon a way out of the downward spiral when I said, “I would rather we speak spirit to spirit instead of ego to ego.” The need for defensiveness abruptly dropped away and heartfelt truth emerged further strengthening my relationship with the other person.
It is not for lack of desire that humans default to defensiveness when in conversation with others. Although we may desire loving relationships, our insecurity and fear can easily surface whether our perception of threat is real or illusion. In our wish for harmonious relations, I believe we are all one right phrase or sentence away from the truth. We just don’t know what those right words are . . . yet. The persistence and practice required to live a path of spirit and wisdom asks much of us. It asks us to become our own hero, to save ourselves. And, it is these heroic thoughts, words and deeds that then change the world.
As opposed to 10 commandments, Gandhi offered us the following 10 heroic actions for changing the world:
- Change yourself, and the world will follow.
By shifting our negative thoughts, words and actions into positive ones, we change
everything around us. The universal Law of Reciprocity states what we give out
returns to us. It is up to each of us to grow more positive energy and experience in
ourselves and thus in the world.
- You are in control of you.
What you think, say and do are all choices you make. Choose wisely, and the world
- Forgive and let go of the past.
Don’t let another person or a past negative experience live rent free in your mind.
Negativity rots the mind, body and spirit eventually emerging as disease.
- Take action and practice.
Practice new positive thoughts, words and deeds. Eventually your old habits will
just fade away.
- Be present and accept what is.
The past and the future are uncontrollable. The only moment available to us is
now. Accept what shows up and live it wisely.
- Erring is human.
Through trial and error, we learn which choices are right for us and for the world.
Learning is not without error. Embrace your errors and grow from them.
- Persist, no matter what.
Persistence and practice create the discipline required for transformation. Instant
gratification teaches dependency not freedom.
- Focus on the good in people and serve that.
Emphasize, encourage and embolden others’ goodness into greatness. Joy is the
outcome for you and them.
- Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.
When your thoughts, words and actions are aligned, your integrity and personal
power (self-mastery) are unquestionable.
- Grow and evolve.
Change is our constant companion no matter our age. Open yourself to what you
need to know to live a rich and fulfilling life.
What personal truth is your spirit willing you to speak?
For more on right choices for transformation, click here.