This is not to say that we should just be contented with what we see around us. This is also not an argument against working for changes in our society. Neither were we wrong when marched against corruption and abuse of power by our leaders.
Rather, this emphasizes the need for us to also change ourselves to become credible agents of change in the world. We cannot talk against corruption if we too, pay bribes. We cannot talk about human rights if we abuse our own workers and household helps.
For this All Souls Day, I am quoting one of the most popular inscriptions written to inspire people how they could make a difference in this world. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” quoted this as supposed to be written in the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in 1100 AD. I verified if there’s really an inscription written in the tomb of Westminster Abbey from its website. There is no such inscription. Nevertheless, this did not diminish the argument that one should focus on one’s self first, to make ripples in the world.
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.
But it, too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
And now as I lie on my death bed, I suddenly realize that had I only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”
What about you, do you agree that changing yourself first is a necessary requirement before you can change your community and your country?