Someone on my Facebook page shared a quote by Leo Tolstoy that got my brain churning:
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
I agree with Tolstoy’s observation. Change begins when individuals look within themselves. (My blog: 7/26/ 12) Blaming the direction of our society — the government, banks, Wall Street – is an evasion of one simple fact: we created these institutions. They reflect us.
Our error begins when we equate wealth with happiness. I’m not the first to have touched upon this false connection. Nor do I know the words to help others see the disconnect or view their aspirations differently. What I do know is that wealth has little to do with money. Wealth means having a support system, friends and family, who pick us up when we are down. These loyalties are where abundance lies.
Recently I read an interview with Parker J. Palmer. He is the author of A Hidden Wholeness and is the founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal. He offered a quiz — a set of questions for each of us to ask to test of our humanity. I’ve copied it below for anyone who might be interested.
How do I get my own ego out of the way enough to regard you as a collaborator rather than a competitor?
If you step on my toes, how can I forgive you and move on?
And if I step on your toes, how do I forgive myself and ask for your forgiveness so we can move on together? (“Know Yourself, Change Your World,” by Sara van Gelder, Yes, Fall, 2009, pg. 49.)
Our history is blessed with many great leaders who have taken the test and passed: Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Aung San Suu Kyi. But one needn’t be worthy of a page in the history books to participate in greatness. We have only to remember that gold is a poor treasure when compared to compassion and love.
(Courtesy of humanitext.no)