Thursday, November 04, 2010

Being the Change

This was the post I tried writing until Perfect Heather took over the last one. Let's try again.

When I first heard Ghandi's quote years ago, "Be the change you want to see in the world," I saw it as a nice little quip. Ok. So be nice to everyone and the world will get nicer. Gottcha.

But then I started applying it. And then it grew.

Want less hate in the world? Stop hating. Want people to be conscientious voters? Be a conscientous voter. Want people to recycle? Recycle. Want women to confidently breastfeed in public? Confidently breastfeed in public. Want people to stop beating themselves up about their messy homes? Stop beating yourself up! Want to participate in a blessing? Just do it.

And then as I look at my life, it keeps growing. Suddenly all sorts of barriers I had put in my way come tumbling down. There's no Life Police who are going to come in and say, "Wait a minute! Did you make sure that was ok?" Sure, people think they are those life police and people are going to freak out about some barefeet at the store. Roll with the punches and turn into the spin.

Maybe it's because the big 2-5 is coming up next month. Quarter-life crisis? But I'm starting things over. This month is NaNoWriMo- and while I'm not going offline in order to write a novel, I'm going slightly offline in order to chase my dreams unfettered.

I want to grow a tree from a seed.
I want to finish my kusudama mobile.
I want to limit what new things we bring into the house and enjoy the stuff we have or find a new home for it.
I want to spend time reading all these library books before I have to return them.
I want to have my life and I'm not going to ask permission any more.

And I'm doing it because I want more people to live this way: doing what you want instead of waiting for permission. I want people to enjoy life now instead of later. So that's what I'm doing.

I'll keep you all posted every Saturday. This is going to take a while, but I'm ready for it!


  1. Wonderful post. I especially feel that with regards to being hatefull and judgemental. When I made the decision to stop judging others for their behaviors and choices, it was a huge weight off my chest. I am happier because I try to focus only on my choices. I still have my opinions, but I try to follow them with, "but whatever works for that person is okay."

  2. I LOVE this! I want so badly to just not care about what anyone says. I need to figure out how to sort that nonconformity out in my head.

  3. Olivia- I know what you mean. I don't believe in "agree to disagree" because I think it becomes an excuse to avoid close inspection of a matter- but I am comfortable with saying, "Sometimes people value different things than I do." I know that's true because at different times in my life I have valued different things. I can at least give others the same space.

  4. w00t! :-)

  5. I agree...however...we do have effect on others...& we must have some amount of mindfulness in our endeavors. Especially when it comes to children...and teenagers and our effect on them. We can't be the self-appointed teachers either...but only a graceful and mannered teacher.

  6. "Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman

    Doing all this is living how I'd like to live without worrying what other think. And I think that is exactly what children and youth need to see. I'm not appointing myself to be a teacher: I'm declaring myself to be a live-er, do-er and in-the-now person.


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