Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Out by Going In

8/26/2009—How do you change the world? A friend recently told me that the only answer to that is by changing yourself. First of all, that is the only thing you actually can change. We don’t have the actual capacity to change the world. Second, we never know how to change the world while we might have an inkling as to how to change ourselves. Third, our actions in the world are ambiguous whereas this is less true with regard to ourselves.

But isn’t this the counsel of quietism? I’m worried about global warming and you tell me to change myself, in some Zen fashion.

But look at the record. The great sages—Buddha, Jesus, Mohamed, Gandhi—changed their consciousness first. World change followed. Even Jonah had to change himself first, before he was any use to Nineveh.

Well, then, what change in myself? We are all different but I imagine that the place to start is not to hate.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dad,

    I agree completely. You cannot change the world without changing yourself first. It's the true work. Not hating is a good step, but that's like saying being healthy means lack of disease. One step forward is to be active in love and caring towards others. To really listen. I don't feel this is something you need to work on strongly or anything, but it's definitely a step further to go beyond the negation of hate.