On a bulletin board at work, someone wrote in huge letters: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”– Mohandas Gandhi
I walk by these words several times a day, rushing past on my way to someone else’s office, to drop off reports, to take care of everyday tasks that distracted me from really thinking about this quote until today.
I am quick to diagnose what needs to change in the world. I pursued Community Psychology instead of clinical because I feel strongly that changes need to take place on a societal level, and treating an individual as if they are the lone actor in a sick environment is simply not the most effective or efficient way to go about it.
My biggest wish is that more people asked themselves, “why?” Why do you think what you do? Why do you believe the things you believe? Why does something hurt you, anger you, or make you happy?
I question to the point of driving others nuts, but I have found more self-awareness in constantly pushing past snap judgments or assumptions and digging up the roots. I have strong beliefs, because I have questioned them sideways, backwards, forward, and upside down.
What are the other changes I wish to see in this world? Critical thinking. Compassion. Taking responsibility. Valuing diversity. Recognizing that, if given the chance, most of our differences would likely play out to complement each other if they weren’t placed on scales and ranked, rewarded or condemned, based on current social power. Honesty. Common sense. The removal of blinders, crutches, and excuses that allow people to hurt others yet call it something else.
The making of such a list is the making of a to-do list for myself, then.
What is the change you wish to see in the world?