“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
You may have gathered from the rest of my posts I am deeply passionate about changing the world one person at a time.
I believe that if each of us could reconnect with our creator and our spiritual purpose then incredible changes could take place in the world in a relatively short amount of time.
However trying to change society without changing an individual’s internal reality is like painting a house with severe termite damage inside. No lasting change can occur in our external world unless the inner change has occurred first.
How to change an individual and still accept them!
I know many individuals and organisations that are passionate about changing the world however they also believe that their way is the only way.
If you don’t follow or believe in what they are trying to do then they view you as lost, naïve or even perhaps the enemy. This creates a type of duality or us against them mentality. This is where our Egos love to take a hold of us.
The ego loves to create separateness and therefore make you feel more special or unique then someone else. Most of us and many religions are guilty of this kind of dualism or separateness.
A lesson I am still learning
One of the biggest areas in my life I have had to work on is accepting people and the collective society the way it is. When I was a lot younger I used to think anyone who does not share my beliefs were misinformed, naïve or just crazy.
I have come to understand that we are all on the same spiritual journey however our paths will all be very different. It is arrogant and selfish of me to expect everyone or anyone for that matter to agree with my views and opinions.
I now try to remind myself of this daily. Not everyone will agree with my opinions, blogs or books and that is completely Ok.
How can you change something and still accept the way it is?
If you had ever read or seen Mother Theresa interviewed you would soon realise that while she devoted her life to helping the sick and poor she had not hatred or contempt for the very society that caused the poverty or sickness in the first place.
A radio interviewer once asked his listeners to donate as much money as they could do Mother Theresa mission. She told the audience she does not want their money. She advised each listener if they really wanted to help then go out and find someone who is hopelessly alone and let them know that they are not.
How simple yet how beautiful.
Living your beliefs
The only way I believe to eventually change an individual’s life direction is to be the end example of the very thing you want to change. If you want individuals to be at peace and not worry then be a shining example of someone who is at peace and does not worry.
If you want other individuals to only do work that they are passionate about and honours their talents and purpose then be an example of someone who is living on purpose.
Being is more important than doing
The other aspect is that the person you become by developing a relationship with God and following your purpose is fundamentally more important that what you do or achieve in the world.
There is no point changing anything or anyone if you are not at peace or connected with God or your Purpose yourself.
Acceptance is not an excuse not to act
Just because I accept an individual does not mean I do not want to change them.
If I meet an individual who is angry or worries all the time or is lost and unsure of their purpose of course I want to help that individual change. While the urge is strong I cannot change someone unless they have had an internal shift occur first.
I know a lot of individuals who are atheists and nothing would please me more than if they eventually reconnected with God. However I still love these individuals regardless. If they come to me at some point and ask about God or about reconnecting with their purpose then of course I will do everything in my power to assist them with their journey.
However I cannot assume they will change and I must be Ok if they don’t.
How do we change society while accepting it?
There are so many things in our current society that I feel from a very deep spiritual level are in desperate need of repair. From the cost of housing to the insane inequality of wealth, I am passionate about changing as much as I possibly can before I depart this world.
However when wanting to change the world the ego and ambition can easily take a hold of us. We can be consumed by our mission to change the world and this becomes an addictive egoic driver of ambition at all costs.
If the Ego is in charge of our mission to change the world then the process of changing society will not bring us peace. In fact it will bring us nothing but frustration and exhaustion. Your Ego will convince you that you have to work harder and you will get frustrated if change does not happen in a reasonable time frame.
Accepting society means that I am free to still engage with society without attaching hate or resentment while still positively looking at ways to change it. Once again I look towards Buckminster Fuller as an example of someone who had the right approach to change society.
The quote at the beginning of this chapter says it all. You cannot change something by fighting reality. Simply create a better model that works and hopefully individuals will follow.
For instance if you hate how Debt is controlling the majority of the population, be an example of someone who refuses to use debt and show others how you did it.
If you hate homelessness go out and help the homeless one person at a time and show other individuals how they can do the same.
The simple life movement is a wonderful example on how positive change takes place one individual’s example at a time. When we see an individual or family who choose to live as simply as possible and they show us how they did many are inspired to do the same. They are not forcing anyone to follow their path just demonstrating a new model that has worked for them.
Only with free choice can an individual be capable of making the right choice!
Be content with knowing that not everyone will be inspired or agree with what you are doing. However a small percentage will.
This small percentage will make a change and they in turn will inspire others.
Jesus and Lao Tzu
There is a common belief that all Christians are meant to preach to the unbelievers and try and convert them to Christianity. Of course many Christians and organised religions do just that.
Door to door preachers are an example. Christ made it quite clear we are not to force anyone to believe in God. God does the changing, Christians are only to preach once that individual has had their eyes opened by God.
If you don’t believe me then let’s look at a quote from the Bible.
In Luke 10:5-7, we find direct instruction from Christ not to preach from house to house: “And into whatsoever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.”
Pretty clear that if they do not believe in God and do not want to listen then do not waste your time.
If Jesus was Ok with this then why are there so many believers wanting to change anyone and everyone. The best way to convert someone is to be an example of Gods love (not easy to do by any means). If someone has been changed by God then seeing your example is only going to assist them.
The Tao Te Ching has much to teach us on creating change without force.
If a ruler abides by its principles,
then her people will willingly follow.
Heaven would then reign on earth,
like sweet rain falling on paradise.
People would have no need for laws,
because the law would be written on their hearts.
Tao Te Ching
Two great spiritual texts proclaiming the same thing, be an example and not to force change on anyone and eventually some people will willingly follow. Notice the work willingly. Force accomplishes nothing.
Be the model you wish to create
Would you take advice on how to get off addictive drugs from someone who has never taken a drug? Of course not. So be a model of the very thing you wish to change.
We all recognise authenticity. If you are living and breathing what you preach then someone somewhere will connect with what you are doing.
Remember long lasting change takes time, patience and perseverance. Do not let egoic ambition get in the way of enjoying the process of living on purpose.
Process not results
If no one read my blog pages I would be a little disappointed but I would still continue to write.
I know I have something to contribute and I love the process of writing.
If only one person reads one of my posts or books one day and it makes a difference to their life then it will be worth the effort.
In fact even if one person does not read my blog or book I would still do it. The reason is simple, the more I write the more I understand myself and the closer I strengthen my relationship with God. The process is more important to me then than the end result.
If you’re only focusing on the results I can guarantee you are not enjoying the process.
I remember reading an article in a film magazine. A cast member on the set of Dead Poets Society commented that Peter Weir the Director commented that he wished the filming never ended he was enjoying the process so much.
What a beautiful comment. A lot of directors cannot wait to finish the filming so they can see the finished product but not Peter. The entire process for him was a deeply spiritual one.
Be passionate but have a gentle heart!
If you have a calling to change the world put all your heart and soul into it and enjoy the process and remember to be gentle with yourself and others.
Change may not happen or it may take a very long time.
Just remember, that’s perfectly OK!