There is talk now of change, of much change, of great change. But the greatest change must come within. Within you.
Each of us involved in creating change, no matter the cause, shares a belief – must, in fact share a belief – that an individual can make a difference, can change the world.
That’s it. That’s the one thing all activists have in common – that we believe not only that the world can be a better place, but that we are responsible for making it so. Not only is it our responsibility, but also our great joy, our exhausted pleasure, our bruised and battered and tired and ceaseless honor.
And when we accept that and hold it in our hearts, fix it in our minds, our muscles and our bones, that is when we internalize the change.
And that is absolutely necessary – to internalize the change. You write your congressional representative, you petition, you march, you work on a campaign, and whether you win or lose, you change. You take it inside you and you feel it, there, and you move some things around the make room for it, because it is going to live inside you now. That fire, that determination, that edge – that part of you that cries out “Yes! Yes! Yes!” or “Oh, hell no!”
Ghandi said “ Be the change you want to see in the world”.
I wrote once that activism is a hard path to a distant mountain.
The change you want to see in the world? You can try to carry it to the mountaintop, but it will become a burden. It will weigh you down.
Or you can internalize the change, and it will carry you.