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CHANGING ONSELF TO CHANGE THE WORLD

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I think, therefore I am ... not following anymore
To follow, or not to follow: that becomes the question.

"Whoever believes in the strength of fresh water, becomes a danger to all the stones."
Eugen Drewermann


News is mostly bad, dysfunctions in our society are almost everywhere. Not only is it impossible to list everything that's wrong, but that's simply unnecessary.

We look at life around us, and we realize that nothing goes right.

We want things to change, to bring our stone to the edifice of a deep and positive transformation. But we know that we have no possibility to influence and change people around us.

Let's refuse to play the card of helplessness in this situation. Because declaring ourselves helpless will only prove that doing nothing is just helping not to change anything.

In the same way, complaining will not change anything to the problems, instead it would give them weight, more space, and thus, enable them to expand.

Fidgeting in all direction to feel reassured that we will at least have done something, will not make a difference.

If we're ready to get involved personally to change things, where, as citizens, can we address the problems?

In which way can we get involved? What is possible to do individually and collectively, which wouldn't be a drop in the ocean and could radiate and influence as far as possible?

First, let's eliminate unrealistic targets that would consist in thinking to “save” the world. We are neither gods nor heroes. Let's bring back our responsibilities to an acceptable scale.

Then, let's eliminate the so tempting, but totally illusory, target that would consist in changing others. For, what right would we have to pretend to change them but by an unwarranted feeling of superiority. Let's remain humble and realistic: we simply do not have that power, and further everyone is responsible for his life. We can not choose for others.

To initiate the change, I think there are several ways for action, and they must be undertaken simultaneously.

Those I'm talking about on the website are all individual.

And it is intentionally that I'm only talking about them for two reasons:

The first and most important is that, as Einstein said: “The way of thinking
which has generated a problem will never solve it.” And it takes a whole series of conditions to learn to operate differently. And those conditions can only be met by changing first at an individual level (even if support from groups and communities has not to be neglected). Individual change is prior to collective action, although it excludes not the latter, quite the contrary. I think it is useless to invest in a collective way, if we still operate individually in a problematic way (with a mode of thinking that created, creates, and will continue to create problems while it stays present).

The second reason is simply that I do not feel competent to suggest the right collective actions, I'd rather leave that to others. I will simply just launch an idea, citing the existence of collective intelligence, for which a summary article attempting to describe this still little known phenomenon is to be found here. It's a French text, still not translated in English.

Maybe will you find on the site the first answers to initiate this change at your level.

For, you guessed it, things will change only if our way of apprehending them changes.

The purpose has nothing to do with combating the problems, nor improving an undesirable situation. The transformation should be much deeper, and it begins with oneself.

Like we can't enjoy the scenery when the flaps are lowered, we don't have either any kind of power over the World as long as we go on conceiving reality on the wrong way.

So what are the changes we can do individually?

For a start, becoming aware that, if we are not the direct cause of disaster as a whole, our daily lifestyle participates significantly to it (see about this the article on our convenience). And we can therefore decide, on an individual level, to take our responsibilities stopping to actively participate in everything that contributes to global warming, to energy and food waste (direct and indirect), etc.

The legend of the hummingbird demonstrates quite well that responsibility.

Whatever are the consequences of our actions on the totality of a problem : until they tend to participate to it, we still will also stay responsible for this problem. I'm not talking about guilt, but responsibility. It's not a matter of seeking to blame, it's a question of seeking solutions.

Once aware of the responsibility we have individually established, it is then possible to invest in other changes. These concern how we get informed.

Subsequently or in parallel our attitudes of consumers will be questioned.

Getting from a concrete level to a more psychological one, themes like relational communication, non-violence, time management, thoughts management, positive attitude will arise.

Further, at a spiritual level, themes concerning conscience of the relationship between inner world and external reality, or the questioning of our beliefs and conditioning will arise.

For, at the source of our actions "are" our attitudes. These attitudes are the consequence of our thoughts and thought patterns, and these are induced by the way we watch, conceive reality: the glasses of our beliefs, our education conditioning. So until we won't have worked up to this level, we will only change the appearance of problems that surround us without being able to solve them, we will content ourselves with reforming rather than transforming. If a caterpillar wants to see the world, it may try to grow, to improve, but it will not go very far that way. The transformation will have to be major: transforming in a butterfly. We are unaware of the existence of our potential as long as we go on reforming ourselves and reform our problems.

Changing oneself can change the World. It is obvious to some, still rather rare, it remains an idea to dig for others, and this is rather a crazy idea for majority.

The issue isn't to start by making the choice to change oneself. This choice can be made only once we reach a certain stage of change. We then become aware of its scope beyond ourselves, and we can consciously choose to accompany this change, while trying to contact those who are on a similar path.
The site is addressed to those who are there. And of course, it's available for anyone else who could find interest in it.

My wish is that it could be of interest for anyone who's seeking for stimulation, motivation, help on its way.

Claire De Brabander
release from August 2010
tranlation from December 2011

This text has been written originally in French and has been translated by the author (who is French speaking). The translation quality is therefore not guaranteed : see more details here. Your help could be appreciated.

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CHANGING ONESELF

TO CHANGE THE WORLD

New in 2012 : the Spanish and the English version of the site- with the original in French