Changing something from within. This subject came up as a result of my post, Anyone for Fiji? One of my commenters suggested that working from within may be a better answer than running away. I have been running away forever — from diabetes, from depression, from responsibility. I have stepped up to the plate a couple of times, but those combined influences have always left me feeling helpless and inadequate, as if anything I try would be futile.
Some of the areas of life in which I have tried to make a difference from within include politics, religion, education, and social contact with the world. My efforts have never met with significant success; I have always been quick to look for change, but slow in figuring what to do. And finally, I understand why.
My mistake has been exactly this: trying to figure out a new way for others’ lives to work, and ignoring that kind of goal for myself. I have been so busy trying to change the ways of the world, I never even considered thinking about the way the world works for me, or how I work with the world. And my failures in attempts to fix the system are really badges of accomplishment. From each instance, I learned further that I can only be responsible for my own beliefs, language, ideas, and behavior, and that trying to change the system, from within or without, is not my job.
On the surface, that understanding is selfish — well, so I am being selfish. I spent so many years of my life, ignoring what I needed or wanted, not feeling worthy of sorting out anything. But in the last few months, I have discovered that I do know my next step — I must be clear about my own needs, and strive to meet them, in order to be a complete person, to be able to interact with others from a position of confidence,
rather than fear. I believe the most significant change will happen when each of us, as individuals, live our lives out of love, rather than fear or hate.
Until that day, the system will have to take care of itself. I have all I can do to take care of me.