"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change himself." (L.N. Tolstoy) – my essay for application to the Bakala foundation

The power to change the world lies within each of us. It is just about trying hard enough. Simple.

If we just try to stop rushing forward in your hurried lives, slow down for a moment, and think: “When was it, that I significantly affected someone else´s life? (Please skip this part in case you are a dictator or a representative of a totalitarian regime, and go somewhere else to repent of your acts…).

You might have done it with an intention to help someone, either with a complicated life situation, bad habits, like chocolate addiction, exaggerated attitude to drinking or anything else… That did not maybe happen such a long time ago. Though, have you ever considered relating your suggestions to yourself? That probably drowning your last relationship in a bottle of archive port wine, combined with plundering of the nearby praline shop is not the best way to go.

Mahatma Ghandi once said “You should be the change, you want to see in the world” and it is not only very true, but also tightly bounded to this topic. It has been proved many times, that we, as a human race, are able to make an incredible effort to convert others to our own ways. This approach is obviously futile, if everybody is about to stick to his own “truth”.

Why has this trend of incontrovertibly damaging stubbornness appeared and expanded? Our society focuses strongly (or at least did in the past decades) on cooperation and interpersonal relationships. However, it is really hard to find one, who thinks regularly and consciously about himself without being considered a lunatic. The society got used to criticise the others constantly but did not fulfil its own responsibilities at the same time. That is dangerous, and well… also quite stupid. A long time ago, or at least long enough to forget about it, the Homo neanderthalensis refused to accept much more practical life habits of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens, … and we all know how it ended!

Therefore, not self-centred demonstration of your skills, a talent, and capability (or in some cases just volubility and agile tongue), but humility and ability to let others hold their conviction, in case that´s what they need, is a way to freedom and also power. The power of becoming the one, who changed himself first, will attract people to you, like a lamp shade does with the inquisitive insect.

I can demonstrate this on myself, when convincing others to live sustainably in regard to the environment and human society, without causing unnecessary wastage, loss and futility. I am able to act like being mad, when I see someone taking half dozen polythene bags at the checkout, than stacking them one upon the other to even bigger bag, although there is nothing easier (and to be honest, more endurable to look at as well) than the usage of ecologic bags made of paper, cloth, or, in case someone just cannot imagine his life to proceed without a dressy sack in his hand, newly produced air – degradable plastic materials.

I cannot help but wonder, is this really fair of me, when I used to take a handout sheet just to throw it away around the nearest corner? When I occasionally used to find myself pushing used PET bottles into a dustbin, fitting in my sight first, simply because I was not bothered enough to walk to the sorted waste bins?

And surprisingly, after I had begun to force myself to respect certain principles, I managed to get some impact on my surroundings as well! The glaring example is my mother, who until recently considered all the ecology, organic agriculture and bio – food just in the media a skilfully inflated bubble and now, she cannot do without her reusable shopping bag and she even almost admitted once, that the organic tomatoes taste simply more “tomatoish”.

What I was trying to emphasize by this depiction is that being ecologically conscious does not necessarily involve planting some weird seeds on a balcony or tying yourself up to a harpoon of a whalers´ boat, but that this topic is so complex, that the only way leading to change is to start from oneself. And with every single person the world is getting slightly better. So what if we all instead of complaining about various war conflicts around the world try not to argue in our households, because that is where it all starts? Or think carefully about goods we want to posses; do we really need them, or did just influential media campaign made us think so?

The impact of a butterfly effect was irrefutably confirmed and we should realise how powerful it is, especially when the urge to change the world grabs us.

Článek je chráněn autorskými právy. Kopírování jakékoliv jeho části je trestný čin!

2 thoughts on “"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change himself." (L.N. Tolstoy) – my essay for application to the Bakala foundation

  1. Pěkná úvaha.Dobrá angličtina.
    Problém je, že lidé si svým chováním škodí hlavně sobě. Naše planeta zažila a zažije horší katastrofy než je pobyt lidí :)
    Lidská přirozenost, jako každého jiného živočišného druhu je mít se co nejlépe s malým množstvím práce. Nepříznivé vlivy konzumní společnosti se projevují se zpožděním a ve vyspělých zemích méně než v rozvíjejících se. Bohužel ale na to doplatí hlavně ty méně vyspělé.

  2. Děkuji za pochvalu :)

    Co se týče vašich ostatních poznámek, souhlasím s Vámi, nicméně právě jakožto nejvyspělejší živočišný druh na naší planetě bychom měli být schopni vyvinout si schopnost odolat naší přirozenosti, de facto zvířecím pudům, a chovat se v souladu s trendem trvalé udržitelnosti. Alespoň já se o to pokouším, i když to vždycky úplně nejde :D

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