Okay, I’m not talking about a song made famous by Eric Clapton or the copycat versions of “Change The World”. I’m talking about real change. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone you know, including yourself, resolved to change the world in a positive way? It isn’t hard to do, but it wouldn’t be surprising to find more people attempting to change the world in a negative way than positive. Setting those people aside for the moment, how exactly do we change the world in a positive way?
It all Starts with Me and You
Changing the world in a positive way begins with discarding negative emotions. I know it’s hard to not hate something or someone, especially when they offend you, but getting rid of the negative emotions is the first step in going in the right direction.
Every action can result in a reaction. What we don’t want or need are negative reactions. A negative action almost always results in a negative reaction. On the other hand, a positive action doesn’t always result in a positive reaction. The secret then is to learn what does and doesn’t invoke negative reactions.
There is a phenomenon I like to call “the ripple effect”. If you drop a stone in a large container of water, you can see the impact and then the ripples of the waves extending outward until they diminish. Likewise, when you say or do something, it can have an impact and create its own ripples. Sometimes the ripple effect can be subtle and sometimes it can be blatantly obvious. Regardless of the size of each wave in the ripple, wouldn’t it be nice to notice that they’re positively-charged waves instead of negatively-charged waves? These days, I can feel more negatively-charged waves than I ever thought were possible.
I am not Immune
If you read what I’ve written in the past, you should be quite aware that I’m not immune to the effects of negative ripples. Of course, anger is not always a negative emotion. Anger is sometimes a tool, which can be used to motivate people to change – to do the right thing.
Anyway, as my relatives prepare for the inevitable small-scale nuclear war that midnight on New Year’s Eve in the Philippines resembles while I enjoy a more subdued celebration while on vacation in the US, I’m also preparing to change the world, one ripple at a time.
[Originally published in December, 2010 and updated for December, 2012]