“Be the change you wish to see in this world.”
“Be a light unto the darkness and curse it not.”
– Neale Donald Walsh
We humans are funny creatures. We are famous for blaming others when things go wrong. We blame our leaders for all the ills of the world. When we get fed up, we ditch the old leaders and look to someone new to clean up the mess and make things better. Then, when the new leader fails to deliver on promises and actually makes things worse, we get angry and blame our leaders once more.
What’s wrong with this picture? We have been repeating this pattern for millennia. Generation after generation, we do the same things over and over, expecting different results (this by the way was someone’s definition of ‘insanity’). The people are different. The problems they face are different. The leaders are different. But the situation remains the same. Something needs to change. Something other than the leaders.
We know The System isn’t working. Frankly, I don’t think it is designed to. It just seems geared to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few, and of course, to perpetuate itself.
The System demands that we give our power away to it and it also makes is very easy for us to do so. “We are in charge. We know so much better than you. We’ll take care of this. Just give us your signature, your money and your children. Of course you can trust us! Go and watch some TV now.”
I won’t claim to have all the answers and frankly, I don’t need to, because no one person is fit to determine the fate of an entire species. We are all in this together and we all have a part to play. But I can tell you what the starting point could be. We could stop blaming others and we can stop looking to others for our salvation. We can bring about our own salvation instead.
When we blame others, we are saying that they (someone outside of us) have the power to make things better. So blaming others is disempowering to us. When we choose instead to take responsibility for making things better, we become empowered. This is how it should be if things are to change.
So what can we do to change things?
We can change our own lives and our ways of thinking, speaking and behaving, so that we become the change that we say we so much want to see in this world. Our lives would then serve as an example and a source of inspiration to others and cause them to change for the better.
If we say we dislike the doom and gloom that is spread through the media, then we must do our best to spread light and cheer. Each of us can do so much to make our own lives happier, richer and more colourful and to spread a little of that into the life of another.
If we say we want an end to wars, division, hatred and mistrust, then we must do what we can to foster peace and unity. We can get to know people of all nationalities, races and backgrounds. We can form lasting ties and friendships with each other and spread the message of peace. We can make friends with others from across the perceived divide and treat them as we would, any good friend.
If we say we want an end to illness and disease, we must do what we can to be healthy. We can eat healthily, get enough rest and take regular exercise. We can share information with each other about alternative and traditional remedies. We can buddy up with someone who wants to exercise regularly and help each other stay motivated. We can swap and share recipes for healthy food. We can learn to respect and promote other people’s healthy lifestyle choices instead of calling them names for not indulging as we do.
If we say we want an end to greed and competition, we must promote fairness, cooperation and generosity. We are all capable and blessed with so many unique gifts and talents. We can help each other out for free or for an un-inflated and fair price. We can create useful things, resources and ideas and share them with the world in the same way.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point now.
I understand that some among you may think that I am being naive and idealistic and that this sort of thing can and never will happen. Well, that’s where you would be wrong. Very wrong. It turns out that these things have already come to pass. They may not be the norm or mainstream as yet, but they sure as hell are catching on.
In this, the age of the internet, there is overwhelming proof that a shift is occurring. People are waking up. People are taking responsibility to change things. People are taking back their power. People are side-stepping the gatekeepers and dealing directly with each other. Change is happening right before our eyes. Let me share some examples with you:
Ronny Edry and The Peace Factory
I featured Ronny in a previous post. You can read it here. Ronny’s story is an amazing example of how one person can make a difference. Ronny is a graphic designer from Israel. Through the simple act of creating a poster to promote peace between Israel and Iran and posting it on his Facebook wall, Ronny started a global movement for peace in the Middle East. Read more about Ronny and The Peace Factory here.
Richard Stallman is a wonderful human being and a man with high ideals. He was unhappy at the way large corporations in the software industry were making and offering operating systems for computers. He believed that the world needed an alternative: an open-source, non-proproprietary software that allowed users to change and add to it.He also believed that they should be free to share it as they wished. He wanted an operating system that was free from control by others. So he and his team of collaborators worked hard to bring us what is known today as GNU-Linux. This is a free operating system in every sense of the word. You don’t have to pay to download a copy and you can change or add to it and share it as you please. Free! You can download your copy here.
I have cited GNU-Linux as an example, but there are plenty of others if you care to look around. I know of at least 2 others because I use them. This blog is run on free, open-source software called WordPress. I use Libre Office (another free and open-source software) as my office software suite.
Salman Khan was a hedge fund analyst with three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. ‘Sal’ wanted to help his cousins with their school work and started tutoring them remotely. After a while, he started recording video lessons for them and posting them on youtube. His lessons drew in other viewers and soon the demand for his videos grew. Eventually, he gave up his lucrative career in the financial services industry to start Khan Academy – a non-profit that provides free online education to anyone who needs it. You can access free lessons and learn about pretty much anything from maths to chemistry to history and more.
Amanda Palmer is a musician… with a twist. She shares her work directly with the public and offers it on a ‘pay what you can‘ basis. With the pay what you can model, you, the buyer set the price and if you can’t afford to pay at all, you still get the work and it is all legal and legitimate. You are also free to share the work with as many others as you want to (without charging them for it). How is this possible? Because there is no record label involved and because the artist maintained her freedom to licence and share her work in any way she desired.
Leo Babauta is one of the top bloggers out there today. He is also a writer…. with a difference. Leo made the brave decision to declare all his his work on the blog as being in the public domain. Poeple are now free to share, reproduce and re-purpose his work for their projects without paying him a penny and without crediting him in any way if they so choose.
I have shared with you just some of the amazing people that I have come across, who are doing their bit to change our world for the better. There are many, many more.
The thing they all have in common is that they have chosen to look beyond short-term personal gain and profit and they have put their knowledge, skills and expertise to work, so that humanity can benefit. Instead of asking “what’s in it for me?” they have chosen to ask questions like “how can I serve and be of benefit to others?” and “how can I make things better?”.
They didn’t set out to fight The System or to protest or rebel against it. Through their actions, they made The System irrelevant.
The time is right. Today, more than ever before, people are aware of the forces that have guided and manipulated humanity for millennia. People are likelier now to realise the dangers of giving even more power away to these forces. They are likelier to see the benefits of adopting a system of cooperative measures, based on win-win for ALL.
Today marks the end of the era of sheep, leaders and puppet-masters. Today marks the beginning of the Golden Age for humanity – the age of the sovereign, self-actualised and enlightened individual.
The revolution is now. Humanity is on a march to a collective evolution in consciousness and a new way of being. This peaceful revolution needs you. Now.