“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

It is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi. What did the great man mean when he said this?

That if you want the world to be a more honest place, be honest yourself?

Or that if you want the politicians in the world to be better, become a politician yourself?

Turns out there are people who think it’s the latter.

So if I want doctors to give me better treatment, do I need to become a doctor myself? If I want to see better buildings in my city, do I need to become an architect myself? For better traffic, do I become a traffic constable?

Why is politics and administration “above” other professions?

If a person is honest and does his job with integrity, does he not have a right to complain when his state’s CM is caught taking bribes, just because he himself has not taken up politics as a career?

Next time there is a defence scandal in the news, I guess only the defence people would have a right to talk about it. How would the news channels cover it then?

4 thoughts on “I am the change. What else?

  1. Since you haven’t commented on my comment, I’ve decided to write another comment so that you will comment on it.

    Gandhiji only meant that you should ‘be the change’ you expect in your field. So if you are a doctor – be the change you expect in the world of medicine.

    If you are a painter, be the change you’d expect in the world of art.

    If you are a blogger, be the change you expect the the world of blogging.

    …and so on…

  2. I did not comment because there was not much to comment on, and the intent of the statement you made could be anything.

    Fine with me the way you interpreted it. Now what if I want to see a change in a field where I am not active? If I want better music from Hindi movies? If I want India’s space programme to be safer and have lower failure rates? If I wish retail logistics be more efficient and more goods are available across more stores?

    I know just wishing about it is not going to make it happen. But is it wrong to expect the world to function with good intent and basic intelligence?

    What you interpret of Gandhiji comes as an obvious statement to me. If I am a musician, and I have a specific change in mind, I’d rather that I am the only (or the first) one to bring in that change. There’s selfishness there. I’d not like to observe passively while a “competitor” of mine changes the world the way I had planned to.

    Now when the field I expect to see a change in happens to be one directly affecting my and my near ones’ life, do I not have a right to wish for betterment, and voice my concerns? Why do certain people use the “be a politician and then get the right to complain about politics” card when other people demand for better roads or better civil security? Does the doctor tell me “become a doctor and then complain about doctors” when he gives me wrong medicine and my illness deteriorates?

    I hope the point I am trying to make is clear now.

  3. @ Big K… I think, the way you explain it- I has to limit myself in bringing about the change in my line of profession or anyone thing that I do..

    But I don’t think Gandhiji ever limited himself to just one thing… His horizon was broad! And he believed in raising his voice against all those issues which in his perspective were not right (removal of caste system, salt taxation etc). and I think as an Individual I have every right to voice my opinion and stand against what I think is not right. I have the right to question/tell those people who’s job it is to get it in order.

    Change also means become vocal and do something about the situation you think which needs a check (whether it is getting medical attention in a hospital, better roads, disposal of garbage etc etc) rather than just silently cribbing about it.

    If you would not make it a point to talk about it the others will not take notice of it. Change has to be brought about in one’s attitude. No one can be self satisfied, it is all inter related. The doctor also needs good infrastructure and buildings, an architect/ engineer also needs good medical facilities, and we all need secure, clean, healthy environment and yes! The Politicians need votes from all of us.

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