In high school my best friend for life would always say, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Now, I know he wasn't the inventor of the saying, I ain't stupid. It was probably someone important like Gandhi or Jesus or Taylor Swift. But he was the one who first introduced me to the phrase, so I give him full credit for it. Shoutout Samuel Jung!
Even four years out of high school, this continues to be the most important phrase in my life. Be the change you want to see in the world.
So what does it mean?
It means that we cannot sit and wait for change to come. If we want change to happen in this world we must be that change.
There are a few famous people that you might have learned about in history class that are perfect examples of this. There's Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Susan B Anthony, Tom Paine, Nelson Mandela, Abe Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Branch Rickey, and, the real originator of the phrase, Ghandi just to name a few.
Each one of these names saw something flawed in the world and knew that something needed to change. But instead of waiting for the world to change by itself, they took it upon themselves to make the change.
Let's look at a few of their stories.
Rosa Parks saw something inherently wrong with forcing black americans to sit in the back of the bus while white americans were allowed in the front. So, instead of waiting for the law to change, she took it upon herself to stir things up. So on December 1, 1955, Miss Parks took her seat in the front of the bus. Even after being threatened by the bus driver, she refused to get up from her seat. This act by Rosa Parks set in motion events that led to the eventual desegregation of America.
Susan B Anthony recognized the fact that women couldn't vote in America was something that needed to change. Every American has the write to vote for what is taking place in their country (as long as they are 18 or older, because honestly all kids under 18 are stupid. Don't even try to deny it. You stupid.) So she took it upon herself to make a change. She later teamed up with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was pretty chill I guess, to fight for women's rights in America. And, even though it happened after her death, her actions led to basically every women's right that exists today.
Nelson Mandela saw corruption taking over the South African government. He knew that something needed to change, so he made it his life duty to help eradicate his people from the tyranny taking place in South Africa. During his quest he spent 27 years in prison for conspiracy to overthrow the government. When released he continued on his quest to end apartheid. After years of fighting, Mandela was elected president in 1994 and officially liberated all people of South Africa.
This world has changed a lot over the centuries. These people helped drastically in these changes, making the world what it is today. But, the truth is, there are a lot of changes still left in this world's future. Racism still exists, inequality still exists, hatred still exists. We need to change this. We must continue the fights that all of these people started so many years ago. The war is not over.
So, in the words of Samwell Jung, be the change you want to see in the world.