Change can come about only when the individual changes … we have heard this so many times. Until one changes from inside, change cannot happen outside. Be the Change. The only person I can change is myself.
All this seems powerful. But is individual change enough? I have been ruminating on this..
It will be enough only when everyone changes. Or there have to be a sufficient number of changes to tip the balance in favour of the larger good. And in the meantime, while the everyone-is-changing is happening? What happens then?
I must give a context to all this. The ruminations came about when I read about President Obama was all for postponing the commitments to emit less to next time… The U.S. has been the only BIG player refusing to play ball in the field of Climate Change. And now Obama, the pre-mature Nobel winner, has said this… another cop out.
So in contexts similar to these (never mind whether it is global or local), when you have a few number of BIG guys refusing to change, would individual change be enough? It would definitely matter, but would it be enough?
I am beginning to feel, it is not enough to just “see” for oneself, and change for oneself. It is also necessary to be political about it. One has to also relate with the external. To object to what is harming others. To voice one’s opinion, expectation. To come out in support of positive action. To act. Take a stand. Without this, personal change is meaningless. One can achieve personal nirvana, but beyond that its not of much use.
I can change as much as I want. I can recycle my throw-away stuff. I can conserve water. I can change-over to LEDs and CFLs. I can walk to work. I can change-over to less-harmful cosmetics …. But you just need one guy to go about in a 8-gallon per mile, oil guzzling tank-of-a-car. One guy who grabs more than his share of resources. One guy who refuses to change. One guy who believes that he is above accountability.
Only “seeing”. Only “doing”. Reflection without Action. Action without Reflection. By themselves are ineffective. Internally as well as externally. There also has to be a healthy interaction between the internal and external. “Seeing” within, and bringing the learnings to the outside. Act, not only in one’s personal life, but also in one’s World.
Praxis, not just Change, is the key – the never ending cycle of action – reflection – action. Applied Knowledge. Practising Learnings.
Change, after all, is personal. While Praxis is political.