Be The Change.

these are the words from one of the greatest practitioner of non violence, mahatma gandhi himself. his full quote is “we must be the change we want to see in this world.” this quote had a very strong influence on me. i think it has two meaning.

first, the change has to come from within. we humans have a tendency of blaming others for problems. we always look outside and never inside. we find this problem, that problem in others but not in us. the real problem lies in us. that’s why its hard to admit our own wrongdoings and also our pride or ego is at stake. that’s why we are ignorant beings ‘cos we do not know what we are doing. just what jesus said at the time of his death. even when we are angry, we blame others for provoking us. every couple wishes that if their partner could change a bit, then their relationship would become much better but they don’t try to change themselves first.

therefore, the change has to first come from within ourselves. when a person is angry, he doesn’t keep the anger to himself, he makes others around him also uncomfortable. he has a negative vibe and nobody would like to be around him. therefore, the need to change oneself. if someone has a negative outlook, his perspective needs to be changed. i know saying is easy but we can work towards it. in my case, i want to change the world but i’ve to change myself first. so, how can we expect to help others when we can’t help ourselves?

the second meaninig is the change we want to see in the world and for that we’ve to take some action. some do it out in the open like the mother teresa, princess diana and many others while some do with pen like jamyang norbu, tenzin tsundue and now me. hehe. each individual can make a difference. it doesn’t matter if its a big or a small difference as long as one is honest and sincere about one’s work. every long journey starts with the first small step. so, don’t think that its other jobs to do the right thing while you yourself sit idle. just do it, like the nike ad. don’t be afraid of anything as we shouldn’t let fears bog us down. we are a part of the world and we have to play our own part in sustaining it. if we want to make the world a better place to live in, then we have to work towards it. don’t think that its politicians or government’s job. they will do so at the respective higher level while we can do our own stuffs at the grassroot level. also don’t look at others or compare with others. just do your own work so that you don’t deviate from your path.

i’ve met many people who feel their actions or one individual cannot make much difference and i’ve to keep telling them and try to convince them that its not so. in my own case, i try to helpful to people on the streets. i pick up garbage when i see garbage bin nearby and more so at the parks. i’ve a simple reason for that. we goto parks to have some good time as the place is good and we feel like in the nature. and we would like it to be clean. so, why dirty it in the first place then. if you want to keep coming back to park and expect it to be clean, then clean your own mess first. if everyone cleans up their mess, then the park will automatically become clean and there won’t be the need to hire cleaners or sweepers and it will save money.

this idea is what i want to put in the minds of all those people who leave their mess behind. remember, first there is an individual, the collection of individuals becomes a group, a group becomes society, and this continuos formation leads to nation and then world. just like, drop by drops, ocean is formed. therefore, we have to be the agent of change and shouldn’t expect others to do so. same thing for our country struggle. we have to fight our own battle. we can’t and shouldn’t expect the others to fight the battle for us. same thing also for the protest. don’t think others will go for protest and me not going won’t make much difference but ultimately it depends on the person concerned ‘cos we can’t force or coerce people to do stuffs they don’t want to. the problem is that we don’t believe in ourselves.

i do my own part in keeping the earth green by trying not to to waste water and electricity. while working at window factory, i had a work of putting styrofoam in window frame and others were putting long foams while discarding the small leftover ones. so there was a lot of mess. so i started using those discarded ones to reduce the mess. others thought i was weird but i knew what i was doing. lesser the garbage, lesser the clean up and lesser the recycling as recycling also uses up energy. for that reason, i don’t buy boxes of small bottled waters as it leads to too many plastic waste and i do tell people whenever i’ve the chance. even the gov’t ad here says drink tap water instead of bottled water.

of course, becoming the change is not easy but we can do anything if we put our heart in it. for that, we need to believe in ourselves first and have some confidence also. its hard for me also sometimes and i also falters. i pay the price for seeking perfection. there is even a program on cnn called ‘be the change’ where they show people doing things for the upliftment of poor, helpless people. i used to watch that in nepal.

so if you see anything wrong, don’t sit back. stand up for it. i would like to mention another quote which i saw in a hitler’s movie. it goes like this ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. so don’t do nothing. have faith, be brave. believe in yourself. believe in what you are doing is right. there is another quote. “i can accept failure, but i can’t accept not trying”. so keep trying even if things don’t work out. atleast you tried, better than doing nothing. there are some people who don’t want to swim ‘cos they don’t know how to swim. unless, they make effort to learn swim, how can they expect to know swimiming. that’s what i tell dekyi, dolma regarding tennis.

even i struggle at times. there have been many instances when i doubted myself as one of my flaws is low self belief, but still i try to persevere and remind myself that i shouldn’t balk at doing the right thing. i want to change things at protest but i fear people may not like it. i also need guts to do that. i do take the mantle sometimes and lead the protest on mike. i’ve emailed the sft(students for free tibet) and tyc(tibetan youth congress) organizations here but not much response. there are times when i feel like i should have acted differently on several occasions, so i try to learn from it and be prepared next time.

i, personally want to change many things in the world. i’m so concerned about everything. i carry all the world’s problem on my shoulder and try to find solution. besides tibet issue, i want to find ways to unify korea, end military junta regime in myanmar, end famine and starvation in africa, end genocide in darfur, end terrorism in middle east, get rid of landmines. i’ve seen documentaries on all these issues and they are really disturbing. when i see african children dying everyday due to lack of food, my heart bleeds for them. i just couldn’t detach myself from these issues. they are struck deep in my heart. so these are the issues where i want to bring change and make the world a better place to live in. it may seem far-fetched and i may get busy with my life, but they will continue to be in the back of my mind and i’ll continue to look for solutions.


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