This principle isn’t a simple one.  Believing that it is our task to change the world around us isn’t uncommon to people who want to be accountable and responsible citizens.  But over time, I have come to believe that changing how we think comes first.  Our behavior changes next, and the world then, and only then, reflects those changes.  It’s clear we have work to do.  There is much in the world that needs changing.  But changing how we think, the first task, isn’t an easy one.  Our mind set has become habitual and it takes concentrated willingness and effort to even consider there is another way to perceive the world around us.  But we can do it.

The impact individuals can have on the world has been demonstrated, historically, by many powerful people.  Recall for a moment the efforts of even a few of these: Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Ghandi, even Betty Ford for what she did on behalf of lessening the stigma of alcoholism.  Even today, we continue to feel the impact of the changes minds such as theirs had the courage to make.  And for none of them, were the opinions they held easily protected.  Many people fought against their ideas.  In fact, three of the five were assassinated for their views.  But the ideas they cherished have lived on.

We are all being called to look closely at this world we share and to ask ourselves, “Is this the world I want to live in?  The world I want my children and grandchildren to inherit?”  And if it’s not, be willing to do the next right thing to change it.  And for most of us, the next right thing might be to change our minds so that we can see the potential for a different world.  I am familiar with a spiritual path that says we always see what we want to see.  It goes on to say that if we want a “different picture,” we must project one.  I used to think that making us responsible for the picture that gets projected was denying what actually existed.  Now I am grateful that I am seeing what I have chosen to see.  Becoming accountable for the world “out there,” makes me much more conscious about how easily my thoughts lead me to places I don’t really want to go.

It’s a very hopeful assignment to be in charge of the world we see.  Taking responsibility for helping to make this a more peaceful, loving world, is a worthy task for any day.  And it begins, for each one of us, by seeking to see the people who come into our circle of contacts as children of God, just like ourselves, looking for understanding, the hand of peace, perhaps forgiveness, and always for love.  We can be the giver of each of these things.  Being willing to take up this charge is the contribution that will, in concert with others, change the world in the key ways that can make it a better place for our offspring.  The world will be what we want it to be.  The power to make this so is ours. Waking up to the opportunities that come with being responsible for our minds, our behaviors, our actions, promises to make this day an exciting one and one that will positively affect the life of every one we connect with.