CHANGING ONSELF TO CHANGE THE WORLD
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."
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
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.
The first changes concern our role as citizens. This affects
our consumer attitude: our food, energy, water, and all material goods.
But it also affects mobility, information, culture, and our use of the digital
world. Seeking where the limit is, between what is necessary or useless;
between comfort and easy options, between freedom and carelessness, and
further, between what is abundant for me and what can kill the other by
Once we embark on this path, a thousand questions arise. For, at the origin of our actions "are" our attitudes. These attitudes are the consequence of our thoughts and thinking patterns, and these are induced by our way of watching, of approaching reality: the glasses of our beliefs, the conditioning of our education. Therefore, as long as we have not worked up to that level, we will only be able to modify the aspect of the problems that surround us without being able to solve them; we will limit ourselve with reforming rather than transforming. If a caterpillar wants to see the world, it can try to grow, to improve, but it won't be able to go very far that way. The transformation will have to be major, into a butterfly. We ignore our potential as long as we just reform ourselves and reform our problems.
Our relationship to the world, and our relationship to others is currently defined by the balance of power. The more psychological themes addressed on the site will therefore concern relational communication, non-violence and the management of thoughts and emotions. And psychology is never far from spirituality, when our conscience opens, when our heart becomes master of our choices.
Beyond that, several articles are dedicated to explain why personal change is far from trivial or useless. It can be the source of major changes in society.
More concretely the site can be approached almost like a book; each article
being a chapter, of which one can read an introduction or a summary in the
page of the detailed menu, which makes
it possible to give structure and coherence to the whole.
The longer articles are available in pdf and epub; which makes it possible to read them offline, and without going through paper printing.
The site has been partially translated into English and Spanish. In the course of 2022, the untranslated pages could however possibly be available in automatic translation (in project).
Have a nice reading.
Claire De Brabander
release from August 2010
tranlation from December 2011
last modified : February 2022
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. Don't hesitate to report any error. See more details here.
© Reproduction of this document (for non-commercial purposes only) is free and welcome, under the condition : not to make any change, and to mention the author, the website, and the page.
See also the detailed menu page
with introduction or summary of each article.
Or click on the link S on the right of the title,
to have direct access to the summary.
Articles with are only avaible in French.
NEW 04/2022 : Our Influence
Global/individual scale :
Doing our part :
INNER EVOLUTION :
Beliefs and external influences :
Brain - thoughts and emotions :
OPENING OF CONSCIOUSNESS :
WHY CHANGING OURSELF -
OUR INFLUENCE :
NON-VIOLENCE AT ALL LEVELS :
STORIES AND TALES
- The Story of the Hummingbird
- The wolf you feed
- Following or not following
- Stones, pebbles and sand
- Wisdom of Lao Tzu
- Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters
- Grain of sand
- White Birds and Black Birds
- Mexican fisherman, American fisherman
- Rebuilding the world
- The boiled frog