Today is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, an occasion in and of itself worthy of reflection. But with all that’s going on in our country right now, Gandhi’s message is of special import.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Good words to live by, and very much like the Golden Rule – treat others as you would be treated. Walk the walk and so forth. But Gandhi’s words take the concept one step further: they encourage us to affect change.
There is a similar idea in Tibetan Buddhism. Inhale the world as it is, and exhale it as you want it to be (what happens to all the bad juju you kept in your lungs, I don’t know). Imagine reality as you want it to be, and it will become so.
Our country has been in a downward spiral for eight years. A war we can’t win; a second we put on hold for false reasons and are only just now picking back up. Increasing foreclosures. Skyrocketing fuel prices. Tangible climate crisis. And now we are supposed to bail out rich fat cats who knowingly took big financial risks?
The time for political apathy is past. It’s time for action. We have the power to change things. Remember, this is still a democracy – despite the efforts of those in power for the last eight years. They’ve robbed the Treasury, ruined our schools, allowed our jobs to be sent overseas……And now they want us to believe that Sarah Palin is qualified to be President?
Enough is enough! Every one of us needs to get off his/her butt and get involved. Not only by voting ourselves, but by discussing the issues with others – especially those who only watch Fox News and truly believe it to be “fair and balanced.” Encourage these people to find out more for themselves – send them some websites or literature, discuss the issues with them.
The state of our nation is not about abortion, gay marriage, or the War on Terror. It is about the Bill of Rights, about equity and fairness, about voter rights and stealing elections, about taking back our country and restoring democracy.
So be the change we need. Live and project the tenets of true democracy. The Founding Fathers would never have tolerated the Constitutional infringements we’ve seen in recent years. Be vocal, talk the talk, but don’t forget to walk the walk too. If you want to protect freedom of speech, then you have to tolerate someone’s saying something you don’t like. See someone being treated in a racist or unfair manner, defend him. Don’t just let these principles be words on paper. Live them, be them. Be the political change you want to see in our country.
To learn more, read:
The End of America, by Naomi Wolf
Liberty Under Attack, edited by Richard Leone
To get a free pocket Constitution, visit the National Center for Constitutional Studies: