Alex Hanse

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

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Before you can change the world you have to change yourself

What if we made a change in ourselves before hoping to change the world? What if we made sure our hearts, minds, and everything else was in the right place before doing good?

Are we asking for people to be more loving, kind, and generous even though we haven't been loving, kind, or generous ourselves?

This goes along with the quote by Ghandi that says "Be the change that you want to see in the world."

The next time you go off to change the world make sure to reflect on who you are inside and out.

A cold heart can't warm a nation.

  • Sep 13 2013: CHANGE emerges from UNDERSTANDING. Understand the World and you will end up with a Fragmented Anxious Mind. Understand Yourself and you understand the world....minus the Fragmentation.

    Look around you.....see the anxiety everywhere.
    • Matt K

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      Sep 19 2013: Yeah, but from anxiety to positive problem solving:

      Practically it means think global, understand the law physics and derive all other understanding from it e.g. genetics, evolution. Then try to understand the past, the present and what is possible for the future by the limits of physics.

      Then remember humanity has another 4bn years time to get to all limits of physics. After that focus on the social-economic perspective and start to remember the old vision utopia. Then think how we can achieve it, are we already there? Think of practical solutions like a basic income, a fully automated economy without prices...
      ...anyway still a long way to go for humanity with positive options all around.
  • Sep 13 2013: Alex, your words are right. There is an old saying "small things make one big thing" Rather than hoping world peace vaguely, we need to find our own peace in inner side. Change is something which seldom happens. For me, every morning I remind a certain goal of myself but the time goes by, I gradually forget my resolution easily. It is necessary for us to desire something eagarly. And act as whay we want to be! Human beings are defined in a way they are thinking.
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    Sep 13 2013: Yes, I agree on the saying:"Before you can change the world you have to change yourself".There's also a famous saying of Confucianism(Chinese philosophy) which describes the three states of people's distribution to the world:Self-cultivation, regulating the family, governing the flat world.
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    Sep 12 2013: What do you think of this talk about how any of us can make a difference, even if we are not ourselves perfect?

    I agree with Dudley that we can start doing good right away without waiting for everything in our lives to be in the right place. We are all works in progress.
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    Oct 11 2013: Alex... when Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism, preceptor) said, do not preach anything until you become a Mahavira... he had only one thing in mind. It was easy to give advice to others but one must never preach before one reached stage of enlightenment (kaivalya jnana).

    We just could not advise others on principles of life that were not applicable on us. We had to be a truthful person at heart before one could advise others. If we want others to follow... we had to show something extraordinary, exemplary by indulging in deeds beneficial for entire mankind.

    A commoner could never preach to head of states, Kings and Queens unless one had mastered the art of remaining extraordinary all the time. By remaining truthful to self, we could become one in the image of God Almighty! Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed all the time pursued highest level of patience, persistence and perseverance that could ever be practiced by human beings! Prime reason why people world over followed these enlightened ones.

    A truthful person can reach those heights in life when one could truly advise masses to change the world. A massive change in society can only be brought about through a revolution, positive karma based on truthfulness! By travelling path of pure spirituality as detailed in Bhagavad Gita, any human being world over could become a true messenger of God on mother earth. More on BhagavadGita -
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    Sep 16 2013: From the NY Times, excerpt “Falser Words Were Never Spoken.”
    …Gandhi’s words have been tweaked a little too much in recent years. It suggests that your responsibilities begin and end with your own behavior. It’s apolitical, and a little smug. There is no reliable documentary evidence for the quotation. The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this:
    “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
    There is no suggestion in his words that personal transformation is enough. In fact, for Gandhi, the struggle to bring about a better world involved not only stringent self-denial and rigorous adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence; it also involved a steady awareness that one person, alone, can’t change anything, an awareness that unjust authority can be overturned only by great numbers of people working together with discipline and persistence.
  • Sep 15 2013: Let me say each of us and the world are a work in progress which will never end. So I think we must act while we are changing to change the world.
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    Sep 15 2013: A couple of points.
    1. No good would ever get done if we waited until "we made sure our hearts, minds, and everything else was in the right place before doing good." Seems like a ridiculous qualification.

    2. We should never ask people to be more loving, kind and generous. That is the natural result of our being loving kind and generous towards them.

    Go and change the world. It matters not how you start.
  • Sep 13 2013: Well, sure. As long as you remember that changing yourself is only stage one, and that if changing the world is your objective, you still need to keep going afterwards.

    Otherwise, you may have an enlightening time, without really accomplishing much.
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    Sep 12 2013: Yes, agreed. Everyone is waiting for that moment to be perfect before thinking they can do something. Thanks for the ted video Fritzie. I will watch now