The theme of our 7th Annual Fundraising Breakfast, which will be on September 7th is "Be The Change", which is a portion of a larger famous quote. We've all heard the saying, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi is often credited with saying this. But little do people know, Gandhi actually didn't say this at all!
"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
The shortened quote has definitely impacted lives in a special way even though it's missing a lot of context. Be the change has encouraged people to not complain about what others are doing and encourages people to fight for what the believe in. This is great advice! I have definitely used this advice to encourage myself as well as others. Ever since I found out that Gandhi didn't actually say that I remind others and myself when I hear it. I remind myself that what Gandhi really meant by that quote was this:
This quote helps us to pay attention to the inner self work we need to do before we attempt to change the world. Inner work that examines, "... ourselves openly, honestly, vulnerably and to purge out any resemblance of selfishness, depravity or insecurity." (Joseph Ranseth, 2015) Gandhi's way of being is a lot of hard work. So Gandhi was trying to say that in order to make effective change in this world we must first alter our personal nature. When we do that the world is a whole new place for us to make change with our new perspective.
If we wait for others to take action on our behalf we'll be waiting a lifetime. But, if we change our mindset to a mindset of hope and faith in what's just then nothing is stopping us.
Sources: Ranseth, Joseph. “Gandhi Didn't Actually Say ‘Be the Change You Want to See in the World." Here's the Real Quote:” Joseph Ranseth, 24 Aug. 2017, josephranseth.com/gandhi-didnt-say-be-the-change-you-want-to-see-in-the-world/.
Morton, Brian. “Falser Words Were Never Spoken.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/falser-words-were-never-spoken.html.