“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Ghandi
We have all heard this quote before but what does it really mean? Can’t we simply elect the change we wish to see in the world? As the election this year has clearly shoved in our faces, the systems we live in are broken and were purposefully designed that way. While the politicians spew empty promises of “change” and waste time, we can actually change things ourselves as soon as right now. It really comes down to changing our inner world in order to change our outer world. It’s not cliche, nor some utopia like notion- it is reality. We are the creators of our lives. Certainly outside factors, people, and situations can greatly impact our lives but only we get to decide how we are going to react and what we are going to do to change things if we don’t like them. Being the creators of our own lives is our greatest task and the purpose of our time here on Earth. Once we take responsibility for our lives and leave blame at the door, we each will be the change that we wish to see in the world. As we personally become what we’d like to see the world become, the quicker the world will reflect that. This is how actual change occurs. Let’s take a quick peek below at a wonderful organization that is embracing and acting on Ghandi’s philosophy.
Growing Change is an outstanding organization committed to helping our at-risk youth discover their truths, uncover their power and become the creators of their lives all the while contributing to their communities. The primary goal of Growing Change is to flip
closed down prisons, the very institutions these youth were on track to end up, and transform them into sustainable agricultural and activity centers for the community. While reforming the prison will benefit and enhance the lives within the community, these projects are in turn reforming the young men and women making the change happen. Instead of fighting each other about politics, let’s turn our energy and focus to the organizations and the people in our country that are contributing positively to their communities. Let us pay attention to those that are making change happen instead of talking about it.
Flipping an inactive prison in Wagram, North Carolina is no small feat involving more than simply buying the property, hauling in the construction crew and fixing it up. There is a ton of red tape that needs to be sorted through to even get to the point of renovating. Not to mention the cost of such a project. While Growing Change works on reaching the
flipping phase, the young men and women involved are busy planting and caring for gardens within the community, planning the details of the future site, speaking at conferences, and teaching others how to grow their own food. Empowering the youth, regardless of their past, helping them regain a sense of purpose, meaning and direction is transmuting their once uncertain and harsh futures into futures full of hope and endless opportunities. Instead of giving up on each other, our country, our planet, let’s invest in each other instead. The more we heal ourselves, the more we heal the world we all share. Never underestimate the impact your life and actions have on those around you.
*A special thank you to Noran Sanford, Growing Change founder, who help me find a place to live last year, in a new town where I didn’t know anyone. Noran and his families kindness and support helped me through a dark time in my life where I lost all hope and could only see a bleak future. Noran’s actions serve as yet another reminder of how every person we encounter on this road we walk in life, no matter the time or significance, makes a difference. Be a good difference in other peoples lives. Aim to leave people and places better than you found them. You may never know the impact you have on other people but you absolutely do, even if in the smallest way.*