Today, I came across this beautiful saying by the great Mahatma Gandhi. It truly touched me in every sense. A thought so pure and equally simple, coming up from a pure soul and a simple man like the Mahatma is strong enough to motivate any person on this earth even after so many years of his existence.
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhiji’s life is truly and completely capable of becoming an example for all of us. He himself lived an exemplary life only for the upliftment and welfare of the innocent and the destitute. His life serves as an ideal for a very important reason that he himself practised what he preached. He was very well aware of the simple fact of nature that when you preach, your own ideology and actions come under a scanner. Unless and until you yourself walk on a path, others would always hesitate in following you.
Hence, he did become the change that he wished to see in this world. He believed in non violence and selfless service to the mankind. He was always ready to sacrifice his own life than killing someone else. Such firm resolute, and strong morals and values indeed make him a perfect idol for the youth of today, exemplifying the perfect unity of thoughts, actions and words.
All of us living on this earth today hold an important responsibility with us. The struggle that Gandhiji led was a much grave one compared to what we as individuals and citizens of our respective countries need to deal with today. Yet we lack that belief and that will to be a part of the change that we wish to see. Issues like illiteracy, poverty, discrimination based on the colour, caste and creed, corruption and so on, needs urgent attention and each one of us are equally aware of the same. But what have we really done for it?
Let’s take an example as small as bribing an official to get our work done. This is something each one of us wants to get rid of. But when the situation arises, how many of us actually stay firm on the path of truth? We ourselves resort to such actions of bribery at that moment. We might complain that the system runs in this manner only and things won’t change by us alone. Agreed! But then does that really justify our action of bribing someone? Just because someone else is ready to accept it, I will also resort to the same does not give us a narrow escape. However small a change is, it is worth fighting for with all possible peaceful means.
We, as social beings, have certain responsibilities towards our family and friends. But to that, we need to add a small part called “humanity”. I do not say that we need to go and fight at the border for the protection of the nation or go out looking for criminals and scoundrels in the society. Rather, each one of us can do some very small things that instigate that change in the society.
A number of daily activities can be incorporated into our lives which can trigger the change in society.
Activities like cleaning up your own house daily and your society once in a while; maintaining cleanliness in and around the office premises, following traffic rules, avoiding bribery come what may, avoiding exploitation of the lower class, paying regular taxes honestly, sparing about 2 hours a week to teach the under privileged, and many more are some of the small initiatives that each one of us can make to contribute our part to the society and the mankind.
The logic is simple. Just think. Tomorrow you would want your child to become a highly moral person in his life. Of course, none of us would want to teach them the wrong values. But what would be his motivation to become a morally valued person in life? It has to be you, isn’t it? The same goes for the society. If you wish to see that change, start from your own house today itself.
You might see yourself as a single person. But for the whole humanity, each single person together makes a huge number. So your initiative could be a small one for you. But each one of yours including me would make a big difference to the society.
The initiatives that I mentioned above are quite small ones, but when each of us would realise taking that up, the results would be considerable enough. It’s just about that one thought; that one moment when we need to make a commitment to our self. It is then when we would be able to make sincere efforts in that direction.
Having done that, we can pass the same to our near and dear ones. For them, we would serve as an example of change. That would be a motivation for them to start in the same manner. They in turn would pass it on to their close ones and the chain would expand. All this is possible. What is required is that one thought right in this moment.
It’s a very small contribution. No need to go to the border or join the army if you do not wish to. No need to join politics if you hate it. Rather, start that change from you and let it flourish, as the ones who would be getting into the core of the system eventually, would be from amongst us, who would be holding these true values of selfless service to humanity, the one that the Mahatma passed on to us in the hope that we’d enrich it in the real sense.
I would leave the final decision upon each one of us with this short story.
So, there was a grandpa and a child walking on the beach. Grandpa decides to take some private moments with himself and leaves the kid at the shore. After sometime he gets back to check on his grandson. He gets shocked to see what the kid was doing.
The kid was picking up tiny fishes and hurling them towards the ocean. Tiny fishes fall onto the shore and die. This small kid was hurling them back towards the ocean, in an attempt to save their lives.
Baffled by the efforts of the kid, grandpa explains him, “Hey kid! You cannot save all of the fishes, they just keep falling out.”
Now, the kid looks at his grandpa, picks another fish, hurls it back to ocean and says, “But I did save this fish.” Grandpa eventually realised, that however small the effort is, it did make a difference somewhere and to someone.