Why things don’t change…

So many of us want things to change. Having just gone through an election cycle in the US, change is like a buzzword, a fashion maybe. People want environmental policies to change to save the world; they want foreign policy to change to nurture more peace; they want economic policies to change so that we can climb out of recession, not fall off a cliff, and avoid all roads bumps in the future. And for that change, we will picket, we will shout, we will point out all the ways that all the people in charge, in suits, and in big offices on streets with famous names are all wrong. We will debate it over coffee and tea and at the dinner table. We will also do small private things – we will earnestly pray, we will read about new ideas, we will think of ways to make change in our homes, friends, and families. We will do all of this and then we will be frustrated – because it seems that despite all our efforts – nothing has changed.

We’ve done so much, so much of everything but the one thing that truly needed to be done. We needed to change ourselves. I am so upset about the recession and the credit crisis and yet I’m not willing to make the lifestyle changes to live within my means without leaning on credit. I’m so angry about the blind eye turned to the climate change and global environmental catastrophe that we’re all witnessing with our own eyes and still I can’t seem to ween myself away from the luxury of my personal car to join others in carpools or public transport. I’m not happy with foreign policy but I’m not willing to change how I interact with my neighbor.

So much of the change we want so badly but have not achieved is being hindered by no one else but ourselves. Now think on these words:

“The one who does not see oneself is the fool of fools.” – Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
“If one was as adamant about understanding as one is about explaining…” – Gunatitanand Swami
And as a modern rendition of this age old advice: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


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