My tongue is in my hand…

Rambling on changing the world

Posted on: April 1, 2009

Passion inspires passion, my friend, Caleb wrote. We find what we seek. At our best, we are called to action by the action of others. And at our worst, we  feel the need to criticize the action of others while safe in our little cocoon of inaction.

We have in our lives the things we have allowed, or made room for, or demanded, or accepted. We have ultimate control of our internal selves and none over everything else. We have influence, yes, we make a difference, of course. We can move and shape things with our words and actions and attitudes, but we can’t control the reactions of others to our words or actions or attitudes. We can’t predict with accuracy what the outcomes will be. No matter the formula we use. No matter the logic we implore. The unknown, the unpredictable, that’s the adventure. What will happen? What will we do? We are fed the idea that we should have things all worked out, all figured out. That we should strive to be a certain way. That we should design and follow a plan, a million little plans to make our lives just right, to be prepared and responsible. But it looks to me as if we are spoiled and scared and lazy. We want the easy way, we want the best way, we want the safest way, we want the most we can get for the least that we have to offer. We want to see results, not just in our lifetime, within the week, within the moment. We pretend we see beyond our lives because we give to a charity or watch the discovery channel.

We are told that we have control over things we don’t and then told we do not have control over the things we do. We can not fully control our finances or our health or our relationships, but we are sold things non-stop convincing us that we can and that this is the only way we can have the elusive happiness, peace, fulfillment, joy, love, etc that we want. But it’s the other way around. We can have all the intangibles; they are ours for the having. It’s the tangible things that are out of our full control. It’s a silly circle to run. A dog chasing it’s tail.

Where is the action? Where is the passion? Where is the real risk, the real investment? Where are the dirty hands, involved hearts? Where is the moving meaning of our existences?

People risk anything for a quick high, for the promise of money or popularity or an easier route, for a good time that you may or may not remember where you may or may not have done something hurtful to yourself or someone else. People sacrifice for their own advancement, for band aids and anesthetics that do nothing to improve the ailments, but only let us set them aside for a while, only to pick them up again later. But for the big picture? For the long run? For something that doesn’t directly affect us? It’s not the norm. It’s not that it’s not happening, it’s just not happening as much as the rest.

Instead of planning our lives, why aren’t we seeking our direction, fine tuning our internal compasses? Instead of safeguarding ourselves, why aren’t we supporting one another? Instead of being alive, why aren’t we living? Instead of debating religion and theology, why aren’t we worshipping and nourished by what we believe? Instead of building boxes, why aren’t we tearing down walls? Instead of relegating ourselves to little predetermined definitions and standards, why aren’t we looking of our own answers?

The less you need of the world you live in, the more you are seen as a danger to it. That’s why we’re fed our dreams instead of encouraged to indulge the depths of our souls. That’s why we’re handed formulas and equations. What would it be like if we were all just believing, just seeking, just loving, just moving as we are moved, just communing with one another, with our world, with our God? That’s obviously idealistic, utopian minded, unattainable… right?

We can’t trust people enough to follow through like this all at once, all together. It’s not that I don’t think we have the capability, it’s just we’ll never all be on the same page like that. So we have to regimen people, one another. We have to have structure. Even the most basic societies have structure. So, I understand this. It’s just, we can’t accept everything we’re handed without examination. It’s so dangerous to never question what we’re told, what we’re expected, what we’re used to.

I used to think I could change the world just because I wanted to. I believed that love and faith and passion were enough. I believed that people could be more than what they are, that it was not out of reach to say we could live peacefully. Because, it’s not. If everyone wanted to, we could. And that’s how I saw it. But then I realized that you can’t change people. People will think what they want and do what they want and will continuously make poor decisions, and will mainly look out for themselves. People will take the spoon fed truths. People will shut their eyes in anger and rally against any thing that gets in their way of being right and angry. Generally, as a whole, that’s what we do. People are sitting on hurts and injustices and anger and disillusionment and desires and are unpredictable.

So then I decided it hurt too much to care about all the injustice and sadness in the world if I couldn’t do anything about it. But I quickly realized that not believing anything could be done hurt more than hurting for the world.

So, I circled back, knowing this: I can not change people. I do not expect to visibly and notably change the world out of sheer love for the people that inhabit it and sheer belief that people are better and have more in them than they are utilizing. But I do believe that every thing I do to be a better person means that I will treat others with more care, more sincerity, more empathy. And I can help people who are seeking help, I can give without knowing what, if anything I will receive, I can seek out ways to overcome my prejudices and fears so that I can move forward, I can speak possibility, faith, and love into my life, into my families lives, into my friend’s lives, and into the lives of anyone I encounter, I can learn from my mistakes and failures, I can push through sadness and anger and I can use every thing I experience to help me to be more compassionate and understanding. I can utilize my energy to move and create good things.

And we are all connected, so every little thing does change something, I can change the world, I am changing the world. We are all changing the world. Every moment of living and every breath we take does change the world; it is up to us every moment and every breath to determine in what ways we are changing it.


2 Responses to "Rambling on changing the world"

Ach! A mention! I’m so honoured! (blush)

“I used to think I could change the world just because I wanted to. I believed that love and faith and passion were enough.”

IT IIIIIIIIS! I fell in the deepest romantic love with this truth. It is the truth! It is the loneliest truth in existence because it REQUIRES you to IGNORE EVERY OTHER TRUTH that would seek to contradict it but it is the most WORTHWHILE truth in existence.

This was very well written, and I’m so proud to have my name at the outset. It makes sense… the conclusion that we may be powerfully affecting the world and we’ll never know about it, but that we’re not meant perhaps see the full truth and power and effect of what we do. It makes sense because every attempt to really make that powerful change seems always so blocked and lonely. Like you’re the only one… (and maybe you are) trying to make that great change.

So you settle for trusting you can only keep yourself steady, and that maybe, the subtleties in you will accomplish something.

… I was there, for only one day. And it was the most depressing day… I couldn’t do it, I didn’t take to it. To me I HAd to believe that original eight-year-old mantra “you can change the world just because you want to” not because I could prove it was true, and not because anything at all suggested that it was, but because without that belief the world was so less rich and so cheapened and dry and to me… it was WORTH more to believe something impossible if it improved the world than to believe what reality told me if it lessened the world.

And the day I decided to believe anyway was THE DAY that everything I had only HOPED would be true started actually BECOMING true.

It’s a tricksy little thing, faith. It’s that hammer that only appears once you’ve decided you’d nail things down with the palm of your hand if that’s what it took.

Excellent read bex. You’re FANTASTIC. ^_^

I’m linking you to a post I wrote just before I came to Australia. It’s kinda harsh in parts… but I think if anyone understands it… it’d be you.

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