13 August 2010

True Change Starts from Within

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the Change you want to see in the World.". Quite incomprehensible, I once thought. How can you effect change in the world we live in by being that change? I think a more simpler interpretation would look something like this: If you want the world to change, you must change first. But on deeper introspection, if you want peace in the world, then be peaceful first. If you want more love in your surroundings, then you must be the embodiment of love. If you want the government to be less corrupt, then you must find it in your heart to rid itself of all corrupt emotions and inclinations. Then, and only then, can you set out on your divine mission of making this world a better place.

Gandhi wanted peace, and so he not only espoused peace, but he was the embodiment of peace. Even when it was right for him to fight back, even when it was correct for him to retaliate, even when the world around him was shouting for revolution. Even our own Dr. Jose Rizal knew this profound truth. Both Rizal and Gandhi could not have made such an immense difference in this world if they had not first found Peace in their own hearts. In the end, what ended centuries of colonial rule was not a revolution of men, but a revolution in their hearts.

When we are faced with trials and tribulations in our lives, it is always comforting to go back to the Truth. It is easier to blame God for our conditions, and even point fingers at the world around us, but what needs to be done to find peace, is to first be peaceful. This is a universal Truth, one that the wisest and most holy of men have known since the beginning.

We are often told that there is perfect plan for everyone, yet it is hard to see anything at any distance when you are in the dark. We are told that God is always there, but it is hard to feel when you are numb from the coldness of humanity. We are told that we should trust in our fellowman, but it is hard to go beyond the evil that stares us in the eye. The answer is not found in the outside, as Gandhi and Rizal knew all too well -- the answer is within. Peace, Love, Righteousness, Sincerity-- these are all found deep within all of us. We cannot find them from the outside, not from a climb up the highest peak, not from traveling the farthest lands, they are sprouted from somewhere in our souls. Be that change, and your world will change.

With a heart of gratitude, be thankful for all your blessings. Then, Intend to do what is right; Decide to love all beings; Purposely cultivate that compassion for all, then you will find the Peace you seek.