What does this quote mean to you? For me it was a life changing quote triggering a change in the way I live my daily life. I realized that many times I was frustrated by the way something was or the way someone acted, but after reading this quote, I realized if I wanted things to improve, I had to be the change. I could either complain about the situation or I could start doing something to make a difference. Sometimes we do not feel like we have the control to make a difference, but truly we do.
For example, many of you know I get very frustrated that some companies make money off of us selling low quality food loaded with chemicals. It’s upsetting that the individuals operating these companies are making big cash creating sickness. Why should parents have to be a scientist to know how to shop healthy for their kids? Why can’t you trust that your spaghetti sauce isn’t loaded with high fructose corn syrup and your chicken soup isn’t spiced with MSG? It’s ridiculous. At first it seemed as if the food system was so far gone that I’d might as well hang it up and drink the chemical cocktail, but then I realized if I chose to do nothing, things would remain the same. I would just be venting, our health would still be failing and people would be making my money selling crap food. It’s at that moment I decided to be the change. I decided to slowly work towards switching our snacks to whole food organic options, started buying foods from local farmers and discovering how I could conveniently cook foods without buying chemically laden seasoning packets. Within two years our family’s grocery cart changed from 85% packaged to maybe 15% or less. From there I chose to share with others. If I could do it, you could do it. Or if I can make it for you, I will. These small steps helped my family, my clients and our community. In addition, now the people who are selling ethical, healthy food are making an honest living off of my money, not those robbing my health for temporary riches.
I also work hard to be the change I want to see in the world by being as open and honest as possible. We all have dysfunction, strengths, weaknesses and insecurities. Many of us suffer because we are not willing to share what we are going through or to reach out to others who may have advice to support us. I do my best to share my opportunities, accept my mistakes and seek advice from others. I feel this helps me grow personally and helps me prevent making more critical mistakes. It also allows other people to know they can feel comfortable opening up about areas they may need support in. We are all human. We are each going through this thing called “life”. There’s just no way you can live without ever having a fear, doubt, insecurity, embarrassment or relationship issue. It’s practically impossible. I grew up thinking I had to hold all of these things in and to just try to do it on my own or figure it all out. Humans weren’t designed to do it alone. We were blessed with the ability to communicate, have compassion and to lift each other up. If you’re not already comfortable in sharing your doubts, concerns etc. with others, find someone you feel you can learn from, someone who can help you through the situation. Don’t do it alone. There’s no need to. If you want others to be open and honest with you, ensure you are leading by example and being the change you wish to see.
I could express a thousand more ways I try to apply this thought process to my daily life, but I’d love to hear from you. Each person has a profound impact on the world. Every action has a reaction and every choice you make has a ripple effect. It’s up to you as to how much of an impact you want to make and if you want it to be a positive or a negative impact. How do you lead by example or what do you do to make a situation better? What area in life frustrates you and how do you think you could Be the Change you wish to see?