We live in a world that is full of anger, riots, discord and often hatred. The internet is full of videos showing beatings, fights and violence, shared thousands of times. People with different political ideas attack one another verbally and sometimes even physically. Wouldn't it be great if we could change the world? Wouldn't it be great if the world was better place? Call me a dreamer and a crazy optimist but I think we can change the world. In the often quoted statement Gandhi once said: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
But change the world... how?
1. Start to change the world at home- Be a great husband and treat your wife like a queen with nothing expected in return- just because you love her and you want to show her that. Be a great wife and love your husband unconditionally. Be a great parent and show your kids love and kindness. Model for them what you want the world to be. Show them what love is and how to treat other people. Tell them they are beautiful smart and talented. Teach them how to be kind to others and why it is the right thing to do and why helping others is a great joy, and that giving is better than receiving.
2. Change the world of strangers- Be kind to strangers for no reason. As Aesop once said "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." My wonderful wife has a habit of asking anyone we meet in public how their day is going. A cashier at a store is often delighted when she asks how her day is going. On top of that she always makes some positive comment about them. She will always give them a compliment and say "you have the most beautiful eyes." They always light up from her kindness. What if everyone was kind to every stranger? What if in traffic everyone let one person into the lane? What if we over tipped the server in a restaurant just to make their day?
3. Change other people with joy- Be a joyful person- there are far too many surly, mean and unhappy people in the world. They choose to share their misery with the world- and make others unhappy in the process. What if you did the opposite and shared joy with people? What if you were cheerful and upbeat every day at work? When people ask me how I am doing I say "fantastic" and guess what -I mean it. When I smile and say that, they change their mood- because joy can be contagious. As Wolfman Jack once said,"I know it sounds corny, man, but I like to bring folks joy, and I like to have a good time. I know folks like to be with somebody who's having a good time. You sure as hell don't want to be with somebody who's having a bad day. "
4. Change the world by giving back- Find any cause or any charity you believe in and give your time and energy and effort to help. Volunteer at a homeless shelter feeding the homeless. Go volunteer to work at a Hospice or a Convalescent center. Reach out to anyone who needs help and help them. As H. Jackson Brown, Jr once said, "Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more."
5. Change the world one person at a time. You can't change a nation or a world but you can change the world one person at a time. As they say, start local -maybe changing the world is like hand to hand combat. We win the battle with kindness, grace, service, and charity.
So tell me I am wrong and a sappy optimist, and I am naive and this kind of change can never happen. But it can happen in your home, with your friends, in your neighborhood and your little corner of the world. As the song once said "let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."