Written February 6, 2017
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I’ll bet there are a couple people reading this who don’t like what they are seeing in the world whether it’s in your own life or the world at large. Maybe you think you’re to small to make a difference. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can change the world and you’re not to small to make a difference. To do this just remember this quote.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the man who said the quote above, but do you know what he did? Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He changed the world by employing nonviolent civil disobedience. He did this in numerous ways. He participated in nonviolent protesting and hunger strikes to name a couple. He realized that meeting violence and injustice with equal violence and injustice didn’t work.
How do we become the change we want to see in the world? First, let’s start by squashing the idea that we have nothing to offer towards a change. Each and every one of us from the tiny newborn baby to to the oldest person can make a change in the world. We also need to realize that we don’t need to change masses of people. Sometimes all we need to do is change the world in one person’s life.
As a recovering addict, I’ve had the blessing of meeting many people in my travels. I can hear the scoffing as I write that sentence but it’s true, I have been blessed to see the best and the worst of humanity and see the changes in the worst of them. I’ve heard many of their stories and, so I’m told, have played a part in them getting and staying clean. I’ve helped to change the lives of newcomers, relapsers, addicts who hadn’t found recovery and even people with multiple years clean.
When I was early in my recovery I heard that I should walk the talk. As it was put to me, “Don’t share Gucci and live Wal-Mart”. Meaning if I tell people to be honest, I too need to be honest. If I am outraged by gossip then I shouldn’t gossip about others. This applies not only to addicts but everyone. Many of the morals and values we learned, or should’ve learned, as children from our parents we have forgotten. The reasons for this are many, however what I have learned in recent years has helped me to be a better person. The people I’ve met in my program were once in my shoes. They had others teach them to be more honest, accepting, tolerant and forgiving and I in turn teach others.
To change the world in this way reminds me of another saying, “As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” ~Paul Shane Spear. I’m not certain how I’ve helped many people I’ve met but I do know one person who changed just from watching me and my life. A dear friend of mine told me one time that by seeing the troubles I had in my life with my addiction changed her life.
My friend and I have similar problems with our backs that we take medicine for. As I became addicted to my medication, she saw me descend into addiction and when I hit my bottom. While I was going thru this, she looked at her own life, saw the direction it was going and made some life changing adjustments to avoid the same hell. Had she not seen what addiction did to me, she would’ve traveled a similar path to a similar outcome only worse. She would’ve surely lost her 3 beautiful children.
This is the one instance that I know of and seen with my eyes. I’m told by others that I’ve helped them too. Between the fellow addicts I meet, my social media page and this blog post I’ve been told by many that I’ve changed their perspective and outlook on life. Now, I by no means am perfect nor do I think I’m better than anyone else. I do my best everyday to practice Spiritual Principles and walk the talk, but I still do have my flaws. At any time in my day I can stumble. At any point in time I can return to my old ways. For this reason I have the words “Just for Today” tattooed on my wrist to remind me of this.
Thought for the day: A couple of final quotes for inspiration…“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa And also, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.