The Most Important Work We Do

One of the people I admire the most is Mahatma Gandhi. There is a famous quote attributed to him: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Unfortunately, this is paraphrasing … not by me, but others. What Gandhi actually said was “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

I interpret Gandhi’s actual quote as meaning that true change begins within each of us. In other words, we change ourselves and we change the world. What each of us thinks and feels affects how we interact with the world and, in turn, how the world responds to us. If we don’t like the world we see, we have the power to change it simply by looking inward, taking stock of our character flaws, and working to transform them into strengths. Working on ourselves in this way is the most important work we will ever do on this earthly plane.

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