Be the change you wish to see in the world.
This saying is often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. But, according to the New York Times, what Gandhi actually said was:
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.
For years now, I have picked up these quotes, rolled them around, and looked at them from many angles. Kind of the way I do with pretty knick-knacks on the mantle. I look at them, test the weight in my hand, see how they catch the light, and, ultimately put them back down to gather dust for a few more months.
But this week, Gandhi’s statement has gathered resonance for me.
What I’ve come to realize is that Gandhi’s words speak directly to how energy moves in the world, it is his version of the law of attraction.
This Ah-Ha! came to me one day when Andrew returned from a walk with Bandit. There’s a little back-story here so bear with me:
A few months back we moved onto a very busy street in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood. The house’s situation was unsettling to me from our first look. In fact, we looked at many houses before visiting this one because of its location.
But Andrew fell deep into house-love. I would have been a bitch to separate him from 18″ Victorian moldings and, I have to admit, the front porch is dreamy.
So we moved onto a busy, noisy corner in the lovely tree-lined Northwest section of Philadelphia.
From moving day on, Andrew was anal about litter in front of the house. Every dog-walk includes a check for candy wrappers and plastic bags. Even the smallest speck of tomato that has fallen from someone’s sandwich is removed.
I asked Andrew why he was being so persnickety. After all, give it an hour and some new bit of garbage will be dropped or a bag will blow down the street and land on our lawn.
Andrew told me “If people see litter then they will think its okay to litter.”
I was skeptical (Philadelphians seem genetically incapable of using trash cans) but have continued to keep the area around our house pristinely litter free.
Last week Andrew came back from a walk with Bandit. On the walk he had asked a kid, who dropped some trash, to pick it up and take it to a trash can. The kid asked “Why? There’s wrappers all over here.”
Like draws like. A dirty street, it seems, encourages people to litter.
A clean street encourages the opposite.
So we must live our ideals, not simply to set an example, but to set-up energetic resonance.
Our actions, as well as our thoughts, set the energetic pattern that will draw what you want toward you.
Be the change.