There is question as to whether Gahndi ever said this quote or not. Some say that he said something similar in meaning, while others maintain he never said it at all. Regardless, it is a quote that I use to inspire myself.
Two years ago, I bought a Mantraband bracelet with the words “Be the change” inscribed upon it. I wear it often as a reminder of how I would like to live my life. I often show it to my students in counseling sessions, as a reminder to “be the change.”
If we want the world to be a kinder, more understanding place, we need to be kind and understanding. If we want the world to be just and fair to all, we must be just and fair.
I am a person who believes in the power of the individual. Often we look at the world and think “how can I have an effect? I’m just one person.” But I truly believe that individual actions matter. Many individual actions add up to monumental change. Our actions and beliefs trickle down to those around us.
I don’t want you to think that this is a skill I have mastered. I am not always “the change I want to see in the world.” Sometimes, I am too timid to stand up for justice. Sometimes, I am unkind to myself or others. But I have to remember to be compassionate towards myself. I’m not going to always get it right, but sometimes I will, and that is what matters.
And that is why I wear my bracelet.