The sun rises and the sun sets, many come to the world and many depart from this world. But only a few always remain fresh in the hearts and minds of people. They were the ones who effected a change in their true being and in their attitude. It is a change that transformed themselves, gradually inspired their neighbours and finally at large, guided the society from the ways of darkness to light, lethargy to life and unknown to well-known.
Change is the only permanent need of every person for a happy, healthy and harmonious life. In this universe, everything changes, the years, the time and every moment is in the inconstant movement or change. Change is the beauty and law of nature. Here, I am reminded of the ancient Greek Philosophy saying, “One cannot step into the same river twice.” Yes, change is the fundamental aspect, which must not be merely sought outside but be made in our lives for a better and greater purpose. However, we human beings are as quick as rabbits to demand change from others but we are slow as a snail to change ourselves. We resist the voice from outside; we rise because we think that it curtails our freedom. Rich Godwin rightly says, “One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.” The fact is that the change in oneself is a gain rather than pain. For instance, when a person is admonished not to be addicted to drugs, drinking, smoking etc., he or she may feel that freedom is restricted, although it is not so. Here, the change must be from within one’s own heart. It is a call for self-realisation when he or she realises that the deeds are harmful, fallible and unhealthy, and then the change will be more significant and will bear much fruit. The self-realisation is the best realisation. Know thy self was the voice of the Greek Philosopher Socrates. The more we know ourselves, the effect will be the change in our being. Self-realisation is the best tool for a change of mind and heart. When we come to know ourselves, we begin to understand others, when we know others, we come to know God and finally knowing God touches us, transforms our being for a good cause.
The human beings today are in dire need of a change. They look for the authentic role models, as a watchman looks for the dawn and as the farmer waits for the crops. Nevertheless, the true face is that we need to become the change that we want to see in others. If we want to see others change, we need first to change ourselves. As we want others to be accountable and responsible, we must be so first. As we do not want to be harmed, we should not harm, as we dislike to be treated inhumanely, we must not deal with others in an inhuman way. The guiding principle of change must be to live peacefully and let others live peacefully.
The change must be from within for a greater cause. As Carol Burnet puts it rightly, “Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me.” Yes, we need to put a full stop to rumours, gossiping, complaining etc., which in fact have no use. The situations may be adverse, and people might seem to be unkind and yet one’s life must go on. There is no need for groaning at them but one should rather change oneself. Stop worrying and start working on oneself. Then one will realise that one needs to change oneself, one’s own attitude, one’s conduct etc., and then the life becomes truly influential, prolific and fruitful. When we worry at seeing others change then we lose ourselves. The better way to see change is to see it within oneself.
If we do not see change in ourselves, we cannot afford to demand others to change
If we cannot enlighten ourselves, we cannot guide others
If we cannot become perfect, we cannot see others become perfect
If we are not human in our being and doing, we cannot expect others to be human.
It is true that a blind person cannot guide another blind person. We need to be exemplary personalities in our families, schools, institutes, offices etc. because action speaks louder than words. Parents must be exemplary to children, teachers to students, leaders to followers and in fact all must strive to be an authentic and reliable person to be followed, to be looked up to, to be remembered forever for a good and right purpose. Then everyone becomes an agent of change, a change that transforms and awakens the society to a greater and higher level. It so happened once that there were many who passed by that way, many who noticed them, many who cursed them, many who questioned them but none came forward to render a helping hand to them, except one person who thought differently. When all thought why cannot others? She thought why cannot I? When all thought why others do not serve, she thought why cannot I serve them. Since then, St. Teresa of Calcutta better known as Mother Teresa became a loving mother to the poor, needy, orphans, widows, marginalised, beggars, strangers etc. Her significant change of thought and action led people in darkness to see the light. She became the joy to the weeping, hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, voice to the depressed etc. She became the visible image of the invisible God. The change that we make in ourselves helps others to see their bright future.
Everyone wants to correct others and few want to be corrected. As we are in the modern world, a world full of advanced technology and science, many seem to rely on machines rather than the true human beings. We are successful in reaching other planets but fail to know our next-door neighbour. We have many complaints against others, but we do not consider what we are, how we are in relation to others and to the society. Hence, I would like to put forward my humble and yet effective prescription for a happier and healthier society. Such a society becomes possible only through the relevant and right change.
• Change one’s attitude for a good cause: Maya Angelou says, “If you do not like something, change it, if you cannot change it, change your attitude.” Because attitude is altitude. It is what moulds and makes our being and doing.
• Get into the context of others: Once a man boarded the train and came to his assigned seat. He noticed that someone else was sitting in his seat. He shouted at the man so loudly but no reply came. Meanwhile, his mother who had gone to fetch drinking water came and told him that the person he was shouting at was blind and deaf. Yes, we need to get into the shoes of others for a change in our attitude. Understanding others rightly aids us to be effective and good human beings.
• We need to feel the need for a change and then change will feel for us.
The situation won’t change for us but we need to change ourselves
Time does not change for us but we need to change our timings
Nothing comes to us but we have to go to something
The other may not change for us but we need to change for others
Then we realise that change is our best friend which keeps supporting and feeling for us in our every moment of life.
• Walk the talk: Doing what we say and practising what we promise bears a remarkable impact on one’s own life and on others too.
• Let us not be fatigued of doing what is right and good, let us light a candle rather than cursing the darkness.
• Silence and meditation: We need to spend adequate time everyday in helpful silence and meaningful meditation in order to know and change ourselves. I, as a responsible and good human being, resolve to be the change that I wish to see in others. I will become a change that touches and transforms all and the society in a better and effective way. As a lighted candle dispels the darkness, so let the changed mind, attitude, heart spread the fragrance of hope, joy, life, peace and love in the lives of people. I wish we be always aware that the goodness of life and the growth of the society depend on one’s own change. Therefore, let us be convinced of being and becoming the change that is healthy and helpful in society. Finally, let us change to live, live to learn and learn to change.