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Sunday
May182008

WAITING ON THE WORLD TO CHANGE

By Bonnie Starr Mandell-Rice

Me and my friends
We’re all misunderstood.
They say we stand for nothing
And there’s no way we ever could.
Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it.
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it.
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change.
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change. * * *

John Mayer

Ever since I first heard John Mayer’s song, Waiting on the World to Change (quoted in part above), the refrain of “waiting on the world to change” has haunted me. How many of us are waiting on the world to change? How would we have the world change? Would we have the world be at peace? Would we have the world be joyful? Would we have it be prosperous and abundant, not just for us but for everyone? Would we have, in the words of a wonderful little prayer by John Robbins, “all be fed, all be healed, all be loved”? I would have it be all of that – and even greater things than these.

How many of us yearn for such a world and, like John Mayer and his friends, feel powerless to change the world into the vision we hold for it? Do we, like he, think that before we are able to do anything about the world, the world and those who lead it must change? If so, we all must think again.

The problem with waiting for the world to change is this: we are the world. If we don’t change, the world can’t change. The world changes one person at a time – until, at last, the “hundredth monkey” changes and the weight of the change is so great that we all shift. Now, you may decide to wait it out, count on others to change, so that you can just ride the wave when it comes. You run the risk, however, that the wave will take you to a place you would rather not go, that it will lead you to fear instead of love, to sadness instead of joy, to chaos instead of peace, to poverty instead of abundance. If you would have the world change, then you must be the change you wish to see. In so being, you get to help direct the course of the wave and choose your experience of each moment along the way.

We wait for the world to change, however, because, like John Mayer in his song, we feel powerless. We deceive ourselves. None of us is powerless, no matter how little power we appear to hold in the world. The power we hold is authentic power, spiritual power, a power which is far greater than the worldly power held by those who lead the world. Most of us have given our power away or forgotten (or perhaps never have been reminded) that we have this power. It is the power not of our small, ego self, but of our Higher Self, that part of ourselves that has not lost or forgotten its connection to Source.

Source – which is Love, Peace, Joy, Abundance and more - is always present and always available to us. Like a lamp which is not plugged into the outlet (to which electricity is always flowing) and thus gives off no light even if “turned on,” we must plug ourselves into Source so that these qualities can flow through us. In truth, we are always plugged into Source, always connected to Source, because we are, as Neale Donald Walsch has said, “a part of and not apart from” Source. We often feel as if we are disconnected, however, and thus we may choose to “reconnect” or tune-in, through prayers, affirmations, meditation, dancing, hiking in the mountains, and being out in nature, all of which are among the many ways we can plug in to Source.

Being plugged into Source, however, is not enough to change the world (unless it is). Just like a lamp that is plugged into an outlet does not give off light until switched on, we must not only be plugged in but turned on if we would illuminate the world. In other words, we must say “yes” to being love, to being peace, to being abundance – to being whatever it is we wish to see in the world. We must be alight with these qualities at all times – not just at church on Sunday, temple on Friday night, or when we are hiking in the mountains on the weekend - so that these qualities may light up the world. We have to let our light shine and not hide it under our insecurities, or turn it off out of fear or despair, or withhold it in anger or the desire for retribution.

Each of us has the power to change the world. We change it one person at a time. The only ones we can change are ourselves – I can only change me, and you can only change you. Paradoxically, when I change, the world as I experience it changes, and when you change, the world as you experience it changes too. The more of us who change, who choose to plug into Source and to be a light in the world, the greater the light will grow and the more the world will change. One person at a time, we can illuminate the world and, in the process, experience the love, peace, the joy and the abundance that we wish to see in the world.

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