Be The Change You Want To See In The World

So, I went out on St. Patrick’s Day.  Now, allow me to put this in perspective:  I spent the last 2 years living in rural Alaska, in a town with a Census population of 1200 people.  I’d forgotten what St. Patrick’s Day in a real city was like.  So, going out to watch UFC 158 with a few training partners seemed like a totally ok idea.

That was until I got onto a bus that had a young woman puking her brains out in, and watching it flow down the bus aisle like a little chunky stream.  Once the smell hit me, I was already ready to be back home in my rocking chair.

Then I crossed a few more puddles of human refuse in walking from the bus stop to the bar.  Fortunately, the rest of the evening went well, including having a 3 minute conversation in which the woman I was conversating with, in a fairly inebriated state, made reference to herself giving me oral sex.  Eventful evening indeed…and no, I did not take her up on the offer.

However, in the midst of all that craziness, the only thing I had to drink was a diet coke.  The following morning, I started my day with a nice protein cocktail (protein powder, frozen fruit, almond milk, chia seeds)…YUM!!! From there I headed to Gracie Chicago to hop in the No-Gi Open Mat and get my butt handed to me from my training partners.

Prior to heading to training, I was thinking about my previous evening, and all of the craziness, and posted the following on Facebook:

Just so we can make this official, I don’t even own any green clothes, and I’m refraining from drinking. #BEINGTHECHANGEIWANNASEEINTHEWORLD2013

It was just a little “hee, hee, funny”, but the idea got me thinking.  That’s often how my mind works.  The strangest things get my mind spinning.

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

The first time I heard those words, I was sitting in Afghanistan, watching Barack Obama  in his ongoing bid from the presidency.  Following that, at some point, I heard that the words were originally attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.  I later found that these words were never verifiably attributable to Gandhi, he did say this:

” “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. … We need not wait to see what others do.””

Well hot damn!

But those words, that ideal…I think it’s pretty powerful.  Don’t wait for the people, or the situations around you to change, you change yourself.  You change, and perhaps change the things around you, and things will go well.  Set the example…be the change you want to see in the world.

I like the idea.

So, later that day, a funny thing happened that I also documented on Facebook:

Ha, ha, ha…was crossing the intersection at Damen & Roscoe when a runner went by me, and a $5 bill dropped out his pocket. I called after him, but didn’t hear me. I picked up the money and took off after him. Took me about half a block to catch him when I finally got up next to him and tapped him on the shoulder. “You dropped this back in the intersection” I said.
“Oh wow! Thanks man. You should keep it for your trouble.”
“No trouble,” I said. “You were moving at a nice clip, but I’ve been working on my cardio.” WINNING!

What made this incident so funny in my mind is that when I saw the $5 bill hit the ground, my thought was “What would you like for someone else to do if that was your money?”  And man, I was running at a sprint, slowly gaining on the guy as I was yelling “Hey guy…you, in the green shirt…running…my man…homie…my man….you!”  I probably could’ve caught him faster if I wasn’t yelling my face off in the process.

But isn’t that what we should do.  Set the example.  Not conform to the norm, but set a new norm…set a new precedent…be the change.  I can hope that he’ll one day repay the favor to someone else.

And so, as 2013 proceeds, and the world seems to get crazier with each passing day, perhaps we should all take to hear these few words, this idea that while simple…perhaps overly simple, hold so much promise.

 

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3 thoughts on “Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  1. I totally agree with you. Besides why do people increasingly look for reasons to get wasted? It’s disgusting. BTW in my City people don’t celebrate St Patrick’s day, (except Catholic schools who make the kids wear green)

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