The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration is “inspiring change”.
I think we will all get that wrong.
Likely your first thoughts go to things that you would like to change about the world. No question there are lots of things that need changing. Perhaps you would like to inspire greater peace or kindness or tolerance.
You might have had thoughts about what you would like to change in other people. You mother or your brother or your friend could use a little tweaking in a few areas.
It’s easy to think about what we want to change around us.
The real challenge is changing ourselves. The truth is that’s the only thing you have any control over. Yes, it’s also true that by changing your behaviour, other people might end up changing theirs. There’s no guarantee.
But you sure can’t change anyone else.
When we watch the news, we know that the world needs to change. The sheer magnitude of it can be downright discouraging. The only way the world will change is if it happens one person at a time. Eventually we will reach the tipping point and things will be different.
So in the spirit of inspiring change, begin by inspiring yourself to change. If you think the world needs more peace or kindness or tolerance, start by bringing a little more of that into your world. If you notice things about others that irritate or frustrate you, there’s a good chance that you need to look at that very thing in your own life. Others simply hold up a mirror for us to see ourselves.
The wonderful thing is that when we each live more authentically and align our values and choices it does create a ripple effect. We change and just maybe we end up inspiring others to change.
Gandhi’s “Be the change” quote is so much more than a slogan on a t-shirt. It’s the path. Go on. Inspire yourself to take a step along that path.