Imagine a city where every resident was someone who had changed the world in a big way -- Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Alexander the Great, Mother Theresa, The Wright Brothers, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and any other famous person who has ever changed the course of history.
Now imagine you're strolling around that city and watching all those great people walk around, except that none of them know who they are; none of them realize the impact they're going to have on the future of the planet.
Right now this world is full of people like that. People who are powerhouses of potential. People with an incredible capacity for greatness but who walk around seemingly unaware of that fact, unaware that they have the power to become passionate leaders, creative innovators, magical healers, and moving motivators.
People like you and me.
Do you think Einstein was thinking about the impact he would have on science when he was coming up with the theory of relativity? Do you think Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa woke up every morning and thought about how much people would talk about them after they were gone?
They believed in what they were doing and they refused to give up when the world pushed back. They refused to back down in the face of adversary and they resolved to continue if not even a single person joined them. They weren't concerned with changing the world. They were only concerned with being the change itself.
Every human that has ever lived was just that: human. They were no different than you or me. Their potential wasn't any greater than ours. In fact, with so much knowledge and technology at our disposal, we have more potential today than any famous person who has ever walked on Earth.
The world is full of potential changemakers. They're everywhere. Almost seven billion of us at last count. For those of us who cease the opportunity available to us, the world will change in response to our actions.
We may only be able to change our small world. The history books might not remember our names. The only thing we might be able to change is ourselves and we might only leave a positive impact on the lives of those around us. But what's important to remember is that's enough.
Each of us is like a tiny raindrop. We might only make a little ripple in the sea of time, but collectively our ripples become waves of change. The size of the ripple isn't important, but it must be consistent. It must be relentless.
All great changemakers recognize they can only do so much, but they know that what they can do should be done with great passion, dedication, and fearlessness.
You don't need to be a genius. You don't need to be born into royalty. You don't need to be surrounded with perfect circumstances. The power to make a difference -- the power to be powerful -- is in your hands. The only person holding you back from using it is you.
Live your life the way you'd like to see the waves build. Initiate movement. Lead the flow. Shake the system. Challenge the status quo. Make a ripple. Make a ruckus. It's up to you now.
You are such an amazing writer..And reading these words today makes my heart so happy! I watch your journey and listen to all that you share, you *are* the change..you live it, you inspire it, you share it.. So, thank you!
You are absolutely right..I don’t need to be anything but me with the gifts I have..and to share those gifts from the overflowing well of abundance in my heart quite generously with those around me allows me to be the change too..
It doesn’t have to be monumental, or extravagant..can be as simple as a kind word, a smile, a moment of genuine love..as small as a raindrop, as beautiful and powerful as a wave in the ocean that I love…
We are that ocean..magnificent indeed..
*You* are awesome..
Thank you, Joy! I think what’s compelling is that even the smallest act of good, even the tiniest expression of love or or show of compassion, has a way of spreading through time. Science has already proven that even our thoughts are just electrical signals. Everything is energy. Everything we do emits some form of energy and that energy reverberates through time, combining and interacting with the energy of everyone else and shaping the world.
I agree with Joy – you are a very inspiring writer! The imagery of the title is stunning. The message is uplifting.
I completely agree with you. In fact, I believe we are all already changemakers. With every thought and action we are impacting the world already – but is it for the better or for the worse? We are already changing the world, we may just not be aware of it, may not be making conscious choices, and may not feel empowered. Even just changing ourselves will have an impact on others and on the world.
This is such an empowering post. I wish every single person in the world would be able to see how much they make a difference.
Thank you, Sandra! 🙂
What you said about every thought and action already impacting the world is so true: And like you said, the question is what type of energy are we emitting? What type of changemaker are we? Are we an idle changemaker who simply adds to the existing noise or do we recognize the type of change we wish to see and then become that change?
we have a proverb in our country Iran which means drops add drops and then it will be a sea! I believe that we just can change ourselves. you know… In Islam there is a concept which say standing against bad things and darkness of the world is good and acceptable but what is the best and the greatest winning is standing against badness and darknesses inside our mind and soul. it means changing ourselves is much more harder than changing the world. and I’m sure it is. the world inside us is more complex and challengeable than the world outside.but when we get the change,even just a tinny change, then we can see world around us answer and start to change little by little.
what you have write here in this post is one of the most important lessons in Islam but as you know there are lots of people who pretend to be religious and call themselves muslim but they know nothing about it and just change it as they want. thanks for remembering the lesson man!
Salaam Mahsa. I think many of those who seem to be pretending might very well be choosing not to question knowledge presented to them or to seek real information. Instead they just accept whatever is presented to them.
As Muslims we are vast…1.5 billion people I think? That leaves a lot of room for variation and it’s sad that some people will use religion (and this happens in every religion) for their own benefit instead of seeking the basis, the truth. It (should) always come back to serving, loving, showing kindness, promoting peace and in the case of Islam and the other theistic paths, worshipping God.
All of that gets skewed by ignorance and as you say ”pretending” on the part of those who are happy to have things their own way for the sake of benefits.
Thanks for sharing the proverb. I hadn’t heard it before but it is very reminiscent of Buddhist teachings on inner change that I’m aware of.
Yeah! exactly one of the most important problems is not asking and searching for facts and accepting what is presented to us. thanks Majeeda!
Thank you so much for sharing that proverb and concept from Islam — I hadn’t heard of either one!
I think we instinctively ignore changing ourselves because it’s the harder thing to do. We naturally look towards the easier thing — external change — even though internal change has more power to affect the external world!
As you may know Iran has a great history in literature and I can say we are the country of proverbs! they are lovely and meaningful… I live with them cause I believe my ancient people experiences. Do you like ancient and historic literature Raam? it’s fabulous and amazing.I don’t know very much about american literature and also proverbs. I love to know much more about your country and your culture…please write about them some times thank you very much my friend
I’m constantly learning new things about Iran and the culture there. I like literature, but I don’t spend much time reading because I always seem to be busy creating! 🙂
This was really moving and such an interesting way you have of making us think about things with the land of the greats, and reminding us that:
“they believed in what they were doing and they refused to give up. …They weren’t concerned with changing the world.”
As Sandra Lee noted – this ‘is’ empowering to read!
Thank you, Majeeda. We all have the ability to empower ourselves. As I said in the post, we are all powerhouses of potential. We just need to use that potential!
Raam, I love this post. It makes me want to make a ruckus. Your writing and spirit are a constant inspiration. Thank you.
You’re welcome, Katie, and you can thank me by making a ruckus! 🙂
What a post for me to read just hours before I take off on the next stage of my life!
I think many of us become discouraged if our ideas and our actions don’t have some grand and immediate effect on the world. It is easy for us to then give up, vowing to dedicate ourselves to the change we want to be at some further point down the road. But as you stated so well, every positive ripple we create is just that…positive change. We do not need to reach millions of people in one swoop. All we need is to feel that change so strongly within that tiny ripples are created everywhere we go…
I think that’s one reason why more isn’t done to initiate change: It’s tough to understand how anything you do could affect more than yourself and the people around you. In fact, I think it’s tough to even imagine the rest of the world (although I think the global nature of the Internet and bloggers like yourself are finally changing that).
Safe journey to the Middle East! 🙂
After a particularly hard week of frustration and loss, your post was the perfect reminder that sometimes the bigger pictures is what matters the most. Despite the very human instinct to be subsumed within our own emotions, we need to focus on what we can do to propel ourselves forward to the next (more positive) place. Thanks Raam – lovely post.
Thank you, Jodi! The rough patches we go through in life are like mistakes on a pieces of art: We don’t throw up our hands and give up, we just keep painting and brush over those rough areas! 🙂
Wow, just, Wow!
I think that this is my favourite post of yours, Raam. Very thought-provoking and inspirational. I needed to hear this (as I’m sure many others needed, too). It sometimes feels like you’re hitting your head against the wall as nothing changes. But, feeling discouraged is not the same as giving up! We all can change ourselves and affect others, if not the entire world. You brought up some amazing people who, like you, I don’t believe got up every morning thinking how amazing they were or what kind of impact that they would have on the world after they were gone. It’s true though. Small ways to make a big difference.
Thank you for this.
You’re welcome, Karen! 🙂
I think discouragement is normal and I think it helps us appreciate the little accomplishments a little more, further motivating us to keep going (which translates into big changes over time!).
It is so nice to find someone who shares many of the same beliefs and thoughts on life that I do. You are right, we all have that amazing potential, we just have to open our eyes and look for the oportunites that cross our paths daily. Have a great day!
Absolutely! And that’s all the more reason to be ever present and living in the moment.
Thank you for the comment, Tanya! 🙂
Wow! I look forward to reading your posts because they are always so positive. I needed this positivity today, so thank you!
You’re most welcome, Christy! Thank you for reading. 🙂
Raam, The comments to your post reflect the ripples in the minds and spirits you have affected. As I read your words, Haruki Murakami’s references to the “egg” and “system” during his acceptance speech for the Jerusalem Prize last year popped up in my mind. Fear and complacency are two ways in which the “system” maintains and advances the status quo. Thanks for sharing and providing a place for the ripples to coalesce.
Hi Greg, I haven’t seen or listened to that acceptance speech, but I’ll definitely have to look it up! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here and adding to the ripples of positivity! 🙂
Raam, you’re really on a roll! Your passion, energy, and enthusiasm are contagious! (In the best of ways, of course.) Many people seriously undervalue their potential to impact the world. Like Sandra said, everything we do, or don’t do, has an impact on the world, whether we realize it or not. I’m one of those people who has always felt I was meant to have a big impact, to do something important. However, I’ve been paralyzed by how overwhelming that drive can be. For too long, I failed to realize that big changes usually come about in small ways. I don’t have to go out and do something drastic to make a difference and I don’t even have to wait to do it. I can start today, right now. As you said, by changing myself, I begin to slowly change the world. Just by writing this post, you are slowly changing the world…
I know exactly how you feel! I too have felt that drive to do something great, but when I looked to others who had done great things I discovered that all they did was live their life passionately and with focus and drive (I don’t mean to make that sound like a small feat — it’s not!).
Up until my trip to Asia earlier this year, I felt so much potential inside me, but no real focus or direction for where that potential should be used. I wasn’t living with a greater purpose in mind and that left my life feeling empty and incomplete.
My intuition and gut were telling me to travel far to discover what I needed, so that’s what I did. Sure enough, I found exactly what I needed and it opened my eyes to so much, so much that should’ve been obvious!
It made me realize how much we’re all doing already and how much power each individual has within them. It helped me recognize that the entire world and the whole future is comprised of nothing more than the little individual actions and choices made by each person.
Raam, this is an inspirational and emotional article.
I know that depends of each of us to make this world shine or fade.
It’s amazing how that people, who walked leaving their footprint in every corner, every street and every heart, changed the world with the tools that they had in that time. Nowadays, we would be crazy if we don’t do anything with the facilities that this world offers.
Thank you Raam, because you’re an example of the things that we need to follow, to become in visionary to go beyond of the ordinary, to finish in the extraordinary.
I want to make a ruckus too! 🙂
I think what’s most incredible about the world we’re all living in today is that for the first time in history, we have more collective power than ever before. Think about it: What are the chances that anyone in this comment list would ever read or hear what the other has to say if it were not for the Internet? What are the chances any of us would ever even meet at any point throughout our lifetimes?
And yet here we are. Discussing. Adding thoughts and exchanging inspiration and motivation. Being mini ripples of change that are spreading like wildfire to all corners of the globe at the speed of light. What an incredible time to be alive! 🙂
Beautifully put and encouraging in a simple and profound way–like nearly everything you write, Raam 🙂
Thank you, Meg! 🙂
Your words are on the cutting edge! I really liked when you wrote “they weren’t concerned with changing the world. They were only concerned with being the change itself.” Many get frustrated when they can’t force the world to change to their perspective of what it “should be”. Like you said we must be the change that we want to see in the world. It may seem easier to “be the change”, but in reality that’s the most challenging part. Anyone can see the problems in the world and even speak up about them. But it takes someone with “great passion, dedication, and fearlessness” to be that change everyday of your life, regardless of whether anyone else changes or not. Thanks Raam.
You couldn’t be more right about that, John! Being the change is immensely more difficult than simply talking about what needs to be done. And that’s one reason why being an example for others to follow is so powerful.
When people actually see someone living that change, they’re encouraged to do the same. But when they see someone just talking, they’re mostly just encouraged to also talk! That’s why setting an example is the best way to see change spread.
your words got me really juiced up. Your writing style is figurative – I don’t feel like reading your poetry but rather like SEEING it. Beautiful.
I guess that makes your blog on of my favorites in the inspirational lane. And that’s tough to achieve – you are kicking serious ass !
Thanks, Mars! That means a lot to me. 🙂 I’m so happy you got so much value out of this.
Yes, it is a simple message, we all can contribute to a change that makes the world better for ourselves and everybody else. Thanks for the inspiration, Raam.
You’re welcome, Larry. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow!!!!!!! What an incredible message. I hope everyone reads this.
Thank you so much, Andi! 🙂
I know I’m a bit late on this post. But I was going through your archives and ran across this. I’m speechless. This is the type of writing I enjoy reading because it causes us to inadvertently look within ourselves and truly see the potential we have.
Raam you’re great and through your writing you enlighten us with that greatness. Thanks so much man. Hopefully one day we have a chance to meet. But until then I’ll be reading what you have to say.
Thank you for the kind words. 🙂
We all have that potential within us. We just need to step aside and let it shine!
I look forward to meeting you one of these days!
I am just now coming across this powerful writing. Thank you for shining your light and inspiring others to do the same. So much beauty here.
Thank you, Alia. 🙂 I’m so happy you found it!