Change the world

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Friday

I meet a lot of people who want to change the world (for good). I recognize the impulse also lives strongly in me. I repeatedly read, “be the change you want to see,” and, as powerful as this exhortation is, the overuse of such exhortations can render the reader inured to its power.

This doesn’t mean we ought not try.

Here are a few things that have really helped me limit my focus, then, counter-intuitively, have resulted in a wider-spread of readership and more speaking opportunities than I ever imagined:

• Do immediately what is possible with those who are closest – keep short accounts, forgive deeply, and live cleanly.

• Be unafraid of stating your case, presenting your views, and learning about where you are misguided or just plain wrong.

• Appreciate that you can’t reasonably expect change if you also reject the idea of losing something or things getting out of your control.

• Own up to the reality that the behavior of others is out of your control but how you respond to the behavior of others is your responsibility.

• Take the long-term view – very little of worth and significance is instant.

• Assist others to design and live great lives – the spin-off is that it assists you to do the same.

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