This morning, as my husband and I were getting ready for church, I asked him if he could for one minute imagine what a world would be like where everybody did everything right? A world where we did everything correct and at the right time and with the right attitude. It would just be amazing. No one would hurt anybody, or endanger anybody. Everything would happen, how and when it is supposed to. My husband immediately pointed out that what seems right for one person is not right for another person. A very valid point. We would indeed all need the same "rule" book and the same value system. For Christians that would be the Bible, but for Muslims, it would be the Koran. However, let us for a moment imagine my idyllic world. A world where we all have the same set of rules and the same set of values. It would indeed be close to heavenly. We would respect and love each other. We would be kind and considerate. We would be punctual, hard-working and loyal. We would become people of the highest integrity. Life would be perfect! But, alas, it is naive to hope for a world like that! It is close to impossible to change the world, and the way the world thinks.
However, does that mean we should give up on the idea? I think not. I can make a choice that I would strive to live like that. To DO the right thing as far as it is within my ability to do. I wrote the word "do" in capitals, because it is easy to think about doing the right thing, but it is far more difficult to actually DO the right thing. It means to make an actual effort to evaluate my actions, to weigh them against the rules set out in my chosen rule book - The Bible - before I go over into action. It would also mean that I have to do the right thing EVERY day, day after day. With the Bible as my ruler, I have to measure each decision against it, and pull my actions into line with it. When my first reaction is to respond with impatience, I have to
practise patience instead, and instead of anger I must choose tolerance and love. I will have to start living consciously instead of acting in line with my inherent nature. It will take continued effort from my side to make these changes in my life, but the one way to change the world is, to quote Ghandi, to "be the difference we want to see in the world". The good news is that the more we DO this, the easier it will become, and before long it will be part of our normal behaviour.
One step, one person, one day at a time. The same way to eat an elephant is the same way we can change the world. It, however, all starts with ME.
How about you?