“It is not my experience that we are here to fix the world, that we are here to change anything at all. I think we are here so the world can change us. And if part of that change is that the suffering of the world moves us to compassion, to awareness, to sympathy, to love, that is a very good thing.” ~ Cheri Huber …
It is easy enough for us to want to fix the world; after all, as humans, we like to fix things. And we need not look far to discover any of the multitude of things that tend to move us to a greater awareness of the suffering that exists in the world. But that is not necessarily why we are here–to change the world. Rather, as Cheri points out, we are here so that the world might change us in to the person that we are each called to be; so that it might add value and purpose to our existence, be the catalyst for our positive growth and development, and be the conduit through which our authenticity flows. <!–more–>
A common problem with our desire to fix things is that when we do so, we generally model it off the opposite behavior that we are trying to fix. For instance, Mother Teresa once said that she would never be a part of an anti-war demonstration; she would, however, take place in a pro-peace demonstration. This attitude illustrates the difference between wanting to fix things and wanting to add something positive to the world. It perhaps also highlights a tendency of some individual’s motives towards selfish desires versus selfless ones.
The world does not need our help fixing itself… it has got along marvelously well for thousands of lifetimes longer than man has ever existed upon it. We, however, need the world–we need it to survive, we need it to grow, we need it so that we may journey down the paths that lay before us and come at last to our final destination. Of course, we always have the ability to contribute to this world in meaningful ways–by adopting attitudes and behaviors that seek to live in harmony with it and embrace it “as-is” so that it might continue on its own terms. Such a perspective helps us in our becoming, while still allowing us to give something positive to the world right now instead of unwisely seeking to find flaws to eliminate that may or may not exist.
Reflect on some of the positive changes that the world is asking of you.
Questions to consider:
Why do most individuals like to try to fix things so much?
Has this world ever fixed or changed you in any way? How?
If harmony with the world is our duty, how might we live up to this responsibility? What are some of the ways in which you develop harmony between the world and yourself?
For further thought:
“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.” ~ Michael Pollan