Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.
Everyone at some time wants to change the world. It is a noble ideal to leave the world in a better place than we found it, but how can we actually change the world?
When asked about how to change the world, great sages often reply by saying – first you must change yourself.
“Everyone thinks of
Changing the world, but no one thinks of
Knowing one’s true self is to be in our highest consciousness. It is to be free of egoism, pride and selfishness. To know our highest self is to experience the oneness of creation. If we really see others as part of our extended self – how can we not be more loving to others and the world?
How To Change the World
“Try not to change the world. You will fail. Try to love the world. Lo, the world is changed. Changed forever.”
– Sri Chinmoy
There are different ways to change the world. Some feel the necessity for political action, some feel the need for humanitarian aid. Some feel the need to convince others through word and speech. Some feel the necessity for a spiritual approach. All ways can have their value. This is a look at how to change the world from a spiritual perspective.
The Smallest Acts of Love
“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”
– St Therese of Lisieux
We are apt to think in terms of what we have actually achieved. We are results oriented and are impatient to see the fruits of our action. Then when we fail to see any change, we become impatient and frustrated. The spiritual approach is to aspire to do the right thing with the best motive and then be detached from the results.
From a spiritual perspective it is not what we achieve, but, the spirit with which we do it. If we wish to change the world for the better, act selflessly without a mixed motive of worldly gain. Our honest endeavour will make much more difference.
Be The Example Rather than The Missionary.
Perfect health, sincerity, honesty, straightforwardness, courage, disinterestedness, unselfishness, patience, endurance, perseverance, peace, calm, self control are all things that are taught infinitely better by example than by beautiful speeches
– Sri Aurobindo
Some people want to change the world from the comfort of their armchair or barstool. All they think is necessary is to tell the world where it is going wrong and what they need to do to put it right. If the world could be put right through a quick gossip and criticism of the world, the world would be perfect along time ago. Talking about what others need to do is fine, but doesn’t actually achieve anything. What we can do, is to be what we are aspiring for. We don’t have to convince others to change the world, they will take real inspiration from our transformed lives. When we are in a good consciousness, we automatically uplift others. If we are miserable and in a bad consciousness how can we hope to make the world a better place?
We can change the world,
But not improve it,
If we do not have peace.
– Sri Chinmoy
For every speech about the failings of the world, if only we good do one positive deed.
It is our ego which makes us think that it is we who can change the world. Actually we can do nothing on our own. It is only when there is a sense of shared responsibility, a feeling of brotherhood – that humanity will make real progress. To appreciate the best in others, is the best way to encourage, and inspire them to continue doing the right thing.
Often we have the temptation to change the world through the path of criticism and condemnation. But, there is another way. The way of encouragement; it is a way that people are much more receptive to.
Looking For Friends Not Enemies.
The deepest instinct of humanity is to befriend fellow man. How much joy we can get from offering our hospitality and good will to a stranger who passes by. When we think of other people, other nations, we always have a choice. Do we look upon them with our suspicious and fearful mind? Do we look on them as potential enemies? or do we look for their good qualities and see them as potential friends?
Sometimes the simplest approaches are the most effective ways of changing the world.
Also, it depends what we mean by changing the world. Some feel changing the world, can only involve some different political system, greater material well being. This is true to some extent. But, changing the outer forms is only part of the equation. We also need to change the consciousness of society. If we don’t change ourselves, if we don’t bring more peace into our own lives – how can we expect our institutions and politicians to become better.