Weighting on the World to Change

What’s the point? Seriously, if no one is going to read this… okay, if 3 people are going to read this then why bother? Do I really care about having the teeniest, tiniest impact on 3 people? And to bother taking time out of my oh-so-busy schedule to sit down, think up a brilliant idea for this space, set aside those precious hours it takes to finely craft a piece of literature that will, in essence do nothing to forward the development of human kind? I mean seriously, what do I hope to gain out of doing this?

Wow, that’s a big statement – forward the development of human kind. To be perfectly honest, can anything really forwardly develop that? Did computers? Now, instead of writing a letter or calling someone to hear their voice, we send off a quick “hey, thought you might like this” email with a link on it. Or if we’re really lucky, we get an e-card (remember those? I think I got 3 of them). We don’t have to leave our seats to get cutting edge entertainment or education that was once limited to those only capable of travel.  So has the computer furthered our development as a species? People are still Nazi’s – and I’m not just singling out Nazi’s because I’m Jewish – but knowing more about their neighbour hasn’t really helped them change or develop.

That’s pretty much the largest impact anything’s had on my generation.  If the computer couldn’t do it, how am I supposed to?

Ok, since when have I needed to forward the development of human kind? Where did all of this pressure come from? Was it high school? No, I was never given the “make sure to make something out of your lives” speech. What did I care about human kind then? Human kind seems to enjoy mocking me and NOT sleep with me. No, it was some time after… I decided to pursue psychology, and, realizing the human mind had more potential that I had ever dreamed of, decided that I alone was going to save humanity from the evil clutches of … of… itself!

Wait, if humanity itself is the problem, then aren’t I part of that problem? If people are cold or mean or malicious, does this mean that I’m those things too? After all, I’m a psych student, aren’t I a bit above all of that? Ah, so that’s it! I think I’m better than everyone. That’s big. If I’m walking around with such a chip on my shoulder, how is anyone supposed to identify with me and want to imitate my superior behaviour?

Maybe I need to reexamine my desire. Ok, what do I want? I want to change the world because it’s not the way I want it to be. Alright, that’s a start but do I really want that or is that a very general answer? Ok, what I want is to help shape the society that I want to be a part of. Nice but I’m still kind of out there. I need to be really specific – specificity is the key to desire, right? Here we go: I want to be the example that I would like to see in the world. Oh, hey, thanks Ghandi. But you know, it’s not bad. After all, I can only control myself and if I act in accordance with how I want others to be, maybe they’ll start to behave accordingly.

That’s good, I like that. I don’t want to tell people what to do,  I’m acting the way I want to be. If others choose to be like me, then that’s just a bonus. I’m not focused on others, only myself. Wow, what a change from the start! I wanted to reshape humanity and now, I’m comfortable just being me. That’s not only relaxing, it gives me a bit of perspective; Humanity is not something for me to change, it’s for me to participate in. I can reshape that pressure into inspiration – instead of weighing me down, I’ll use it as a stepping stone to get where I want.

Now I need to decide where I want to go…

5 thoughts on “Weighting on the World to Change

  1. But who says we can change just because we may want to.
    It’s the old adage that knowing something is only 1/2 the battle. There is so much that know but that is oceans apart from being able to live it.

  2. We say. Is it not up to me whether or not I want to change? Knowing something, yes, is the first part. Incorporating it is the second. Once you’ve applied the knowledge you’ve learned, you’ve changed. It’s only by ignoring what you now know that you stay the same.

  3. Interesting debate. Sara’s point about the difference between wanting to change and actually acting in different ways is well taken. Consider the addict who knows they should change but doesn’t. Or the anorexic. Or any other of examples too many to mention.
    It’s also not only about the actions we take, but also the reactions to our own and others’ actions. I think dhandelman is advocating for us to learn to pause and reflect on processes that are usually automatic to ask “why am I really doing/feeling this?” and use that knowledge, that goes beyond our usual ideas of ‘I know I should change,’ into a ‘this is why I act/feel this way in this situation’ and using that more in-depth knowledge as a motivator to change.

    If that makes any sense at all.

  4. Daves you are both lingering on the dichotomy of practicalities and technicalities. The ‘what we say, yet what we do’ syndrome. If you know of a “better” way of doing a task can I lead by example or am I arrogantly damning everyone else by only helping myself?.

    Think about how much more we could all do if we all had limitless access to the same materials to improve, and knew just how we could improve, and took that chance and ability.
    Most of us grasp a fraction of what potential we could achieve. There is no one factor; rather a few, being namely the will and knowledge of change, and not to forget the access to materials.

  5. BCOrchard – I think the access to resources argument is subject to the same practicalities/technicalities issue you’ve pointed out, only on a systemic level. Would it be technically a great idea to ensure equal access to necessary resources? Yes. In practice, has this ever worked as planned? No.

    Potential is just that. Possibilities. Probabilities. A concept that has no form until shaped by action, even at the level of the sub-atomic particles from which all matter, and all people, is made. One foot in a new direction leads to an infinite number of possible new destinations. Without the action of that one foot, nothing happens, nothing changes.

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