“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
This quote by spiritual & political leader, Mahatma Gandhi, has long been one of my favorites. Alongside the Serenity Prayer & many quotes by the amazing Author & Poet Maya Angelou, these words have inspired & moved me to change my own condition, to perpetually grow & improve, & to be a positive & uplifting influence to others.
These influential people taught me, during some of the most difficult times in my life; as an adolescent walking the fine balance between obedience & independence, that I was not powerless & at the mercy of abuse, oppression, & hopelessness.
I learned to be the change in my world. I learned that I had the power within me to change how the negative aspects of my life affected me.
- I wished adults had been patient with me; I chose to embody patience. I tried harder to listen & understand people before reacting. I tried hard not to become a carbon copy of the people who had hurt me.
- So often as a child, I wished someone would notice how much I was hurting. As I grew up, I chose to reach out when I saw other kids sad or hurt. I often listened & comforted others, & it began to heal my own wounds.
That which I could not change, began to foster changes in my attitude.
- I awoke at an early age to the perception that there were others who were less fortunate than me. I saw other kids who came to school hungry, dirty, & sad.
- I chose to embrace Gratitude, & to discipline myself to stop complaining.
- I tried to feel compassion for those who were angry & hurtful. I began to see that their actions were caused by pain, & I understood pain.
It is still a daily practice of discipline for me, as an adult, working to embody the changes I wish to see in my world. I work every day to be what I once so desperately needed as a child – for my own children & as a school nurse, for my patients.
- I needed patience; I must be patient.
- I needed respect; I must be respectful & teach my children self-respect.
- I needed support; I must be encouraging & supportive. I must be aware of the needs of my children, & be open when they come to me.
- I needed love; I must be loving. Kind. Patient. Understanding. Non-judgmental. Unconditionally loving.
- I needed someone to smile at me & show me that my world would not always be this dark, scary place. It is my goal to always smile at children. At my children, at my patients, at children in the supermarket, & wherever I see them. Always, always offer a smile. You may be the only one who does.
❤ Peace & Blessings,