“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I see this quote everywhere. On bumper stickers, on t-shirts, in advertising, etc.  Isn’t it a good one?  I love it. It is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, although I guess those weren’t his exact words.  But still, it’s a great message, and one that I feel I’m beginning to understand even better now.  At first I thought it meant that if you want to see change in the world you need to get involved in a cause and be part of that change.  But now I understand that it’s simpler than that; that if you want to see change in your world, you need to change yourself.

According to wiki.answers.com, this is closer to the original quote:

“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.”

So why do I bring this up?  Well, when I started this blog one year ago I had recently quit my job and thought I’d just be taking the summer off with my kids, then moving onto something new in the fall.  Well, that hasn’t exactly happened.  Another summer is winding down, and I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life, career-wise. But even so, I’ve changed so much in this past year.  I’m happier.  I’m more relaxed.  I’m frugal.  I don’t complain.  I don’t stress out.  I appreciate things I didn’t appreciate enough before.  I see things differently.  I understand myself better.

Why?  Well, I guess it has to do with me letting go of who I thought I should be, and working on being who I truly am.  I used to think I had to be the main provider and that I had to manage everything.  I thought I needed to climb the corporate ladder.  I thought I needed a bigger house.  I thought my husband should help out more.  But now I don’t.  Now I know I don’t want to work in a traditional corporate job or any job with a beige cubicle.  I treasure the time I spend with my kids and I love the freedom they have.  I love my cozy little house and my awesome neighborhood.  And my husband, well, I’ve always loved him, but now I truly appreciate how lucky I am to have him, how great he is at his job, and how much he adores his family.

So have I become the change I want to see in the world?  Well, I’m definitely seeing progress in my little corner of the world.  I believe that my family is happier because I’m happier.  That my husband is more relaxed because I’m more relaxed.  And I feel that my friendships and connections with people are stronger and better than ever.  I feel really grateful for these changes and I’m excited to see where this takes me.

The other day I thought about what I would do if I won the lottery.  What type of business would I start?  Where would I live?  What changes would I make?  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t start living high on the hog.  In fact, I don’t think I’d live that differently than I do right now.  Sure I’d spruce things up and travel more, but I really don’t think I’d change my lifestyle all that much. It’s a good one.  But maybe I’ll start buying lottery tickets and maybe, just maybe, we’ll find out for sure.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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