#BTC: Ghandi, Nike, Change & You.


Anyone ever hear of a guy called Ghandi?  Even without a hashtag he might be on to something with this one: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  It’s interesting to me how someone perceived as passive can actually be pretty confrontational in that this is a direct call-out to everyone who hears or embraces his words.

“Never believe that a few people can’t change the world.

For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

– Margaret Mead



Similar to Gandhi’s thoughts, American anthropologist Margaret Mead highlights that it only takes one.  One solid idea, or change, pitched to the right person or shared with enough people, can generate tremendous momentum.  Thinking of the civil rights movement of the 60’s for perspective, one person’s speeches inspired a million to march.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,

but no one thinks of changing himself.”

– Leo Tolstoy



One of the gems my father shared with me as a teenager overwhelmed with all the issues of the world (you know…girlfriends, sports, homework) sort of went like this.  You might not be able to change the whole world, but you can change your world.  Tolstoy may have said it first, but thanks Dad.

“If you do not change direction,

you may end up where you are heading.”

– Lao Tzu



Simple brilliance that also makes me wonder how much reading MLB coach and guru Yogi Berra did.  And yet with this common sense approach its interesting how often we allow situational inertia to carry us forward rather than our own conscientious decisions as Tzu cleverly implies.

“Just Do It”

– Nike



Excuses, excuses.  Nobody enjoys hearing them, so why do we consistently offer them?  To marry this advertising windfall turned philosophy into a coherent string with the other quotes, I would offer the following:

In order to be the change, one must act (Ghandi).  You don’t have to generate the idea, you just have to like it (Mead).  Think big, but start small (Tolstoy), pay attention to what you’re doing (Tzu), and stop making excuses for inactivity (Nike).

On this, my final post as a GovLoop Featured Blogger, I challenge you.  I challenge you to look for opportunities within your world, personal as well as professional.  I challenge you to not just talk the talk, but to also walk the walk.  I challenge you to #BTC.


Paul Grugin is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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