Have you ever stared at your bedroom ceiling in the middle of the night thinking, “I want to change the world … I want to make some kind of difference to this planet, but I have NO IDEA how”?
Perhaps you’ve searched far and wide for a way you can feel as though you are doing enough, being enough, and making enough meaningful change. Perhaps you’ve even read books about social change, or studied courses in tertiary institutions about how to make society a better place to live.
But in the end, nothing feels enough.
Have you ever dealt with this?
With all of the terror, violence, greed, exploitation, pollution, and annihilation wreaking havoc in our world, it’s no wonder that most of us feel minuscule and completely powerless in the face of such horror. How can WE as singular, average, and commonplace people possibly start a revolution? How can we possibly live our lives full-well knowing that we are doing our very best and benefiting the world in the largest way possible?
Like you, I am ordinary and feel tiny in the face of such overwhelming challenges. I’m not particularly strong, I rarely have energy, I’m not good at networking or socializing, and I have premature hearing loss in both ears. However, what I DO have is willpower, and this has been more valuable than any other quality in my life. Why? Because I may not be the strongest, most capable, most charming, most extraordinary person in the world, but I do have passion – and that is all that counts when it comes to starting a revolution.
Do you have passion? Do you have willpower? Because if you do, you are a natural-born revolutionary; you are a god-given trail-blazer.
I Want to Change the World, but I’m Only Ordinary – How?
I want to change the world. I always have ever since I stepped out of the innocent haze of childhood. And although I’m ordinary, I know that that’s not an excuse to give up and play the mindless games of a society that is built on fear, ego, ignorance, and control.
Will you join me on this quest to form a more wise, loving and peaceful world? Will you give up your stories of what you “should” be like and “have to do” and open up to what you really can achieve? Will you let go of your concepts of what a revolutionary “must look like,” your unrealistic self-expectations, and your desire to find your self-worth in your outer success, and truly create change?
If so, keep reading:
1. Make a serious conscious effort to develop empathy for others.
Sol once said to me, “Change can never come, has never come, and will never come, from trying to influence an external system.” Why? Because the only real form of change comes from within. How can you, from a place of hatred and emotional instability, teach love and inner peace? It just doesn’t work, and it never ever will. That is why as hard as we try to force outer change, we only create ripples on the surface of the much larger lake of global pain.
This is why I prescribe empathy. In the emotional apothecary, empathy is the only emotion that truly helps us to understand and feel compassion for others. Empathy is the only emotion that allows us to truly forgive others, and therefore develop a deep conscious form of love. You absolutely can’t experience true compassion, forgiveness, or love for others unless you can first feel their pain and suffering.
Many people confuse empathy with pity. Empathy is not looking down on a person and feeling sorry for them, empathy is actually making the effort to understand why a person thinks, feels, believes, and behaves the way they do. The reality is that there is a huge empathetic deficit in our society: most of us are not empathetic beings, this is the reality. Finally, empathy is not just about putting yourself in the shoes of the less fortunate; empathy is about learning to deeply understand everyone in your life, including those you can’t stand being around and hate with a passion.
2. Learn to authentically love yourself.
If you want to change the world you need to learn how to love yourself. This is vital and absolutely imperative. How can you truly create any meaningful change if you continue to hate yourself, punish yourself, and act like your own worst enemy? As is so often said, you need to be the change. You need to embody the change that you wish to see, rather than demanding everything around you to change first. You can never force another person to change unless they are first willing to – but you CAN change yourself.
3. Support non-gmo, free-range meat (or no meat), organic produce and sustainable living.
Support products, farming methods, and forms of living that nourish life, rather than destroy and abuse it. This might require you to change your habits or spend a few extra dollars, but at the end of the day you are truly helping to change the planet.
4. Buy recycled clothing, catch public transport and reduce your consumption of material goods.
The more you buy, consume, and throw away, the more you contribute to the pollution of this planet. Do you really need constant technological upgrades, or new furnishings every 6 months? And what about clothing? Do you constantly need to refresh your look (and contribute to child labor in sweat shops)? Try buying at the local thrift store instead, and help charity in the process.
5. Be a couch-activist.
Using social media and the internet to enact change is a simple and accessible way of making a difference. Whenever there is a petition to sign, post to like, article to share about an important issue, get involved! Here is a good website to start. You could even volunteer to moderate a forum or facebook group that is dedicated to a meaningful topic you are interested in, e.g. animal rights, domestic abuse, yoga, etc. On the other hand, you could take the traditional route and join an organization such as the RSPCA/ASPCA, Greenpeace, WWF, HRC, IFAT, etc.
6. Do shadow work.
Ignorance and pain is spread from one generation to another due to unresolved core wounds. When we fail to come to terms with our darkness, with our cuts, with our own repressed thoughts, feelings and dreams, we become neurotic, angry, emotionally unstable, unfulfilled people. And we pass this on to our children. And our children pass their wounds onto their children. And so on and so forth. The only way we can break our world’s cycle of unconscious suffering and self-loathing is through the process of shadow work; through consciously exploring our pain, and releasing ourselves from the grip of our shadows. Read more about shadow work.
Leave a comment …
You might not think so, but leaving a comment is a good way of showing the world “I care about this topic!” This is a small but valuable way of creating the first ripples of change. So leave a comment below! Tell us how you create change in your quarters, and how you inspire others to do so.