BE THE CHANGE
It is likely at some point that you have heard this saying attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
But what does it really mean? How can you be the change that you wish to see in the world? We all know that there are many problems in the world. It is overwhelming to think about how many things are unjust in the world.
It is all too easy as a society to detach from our responsibility to these things that are happening across the globe or in another country, or even just in another town from us. All too often we don’t really think there is anything we can do about it.
But there is. We can all make a difference, every single one of us. We all have the capacity to be the change that we wish to see in the world. To ‘be the change’ one needs to have the courage to speak up against things that are not right. By taking personal responsibility for your impact upon the world you elicit, create and become change.
What does “be the change that you wish to see in the world” mean to you?
This exhibit is meant to be a thought provoking experience about how ordinary people can become extraordinary by making a difference to those around them.
Paintings by PSALM students depict how and why students are “the change they wish to see in the world”. The mirrors are added to symbolically reflect the viewer with the question, “How can YOU be the change?”
This exhibit also acknowledges and honors individuals and organizations that have made a substantial change in people’s lives around the globe through their humanitarian efforts to rid the world of landmines, cluster munitions and other remnants of wars and conflicts.
These are people who dared to live their dreams, many against all odds. For survivors of landmines and cluster munitions, when tragedy struck them, they changed their lives and those around them.
These artworks depict inspirational people from around the world who, despite unlikely backgrounds, have used their skills and energy to change the lives of others. In these troubling times, they demonstrate that one person can make a difference, and by doing so live a more meaningful life of service to others and indeed, “change the world” for the better. What unites the students and people in “Be the Change” is their passion and compassion. They are problem solvers, creative thinkers and all real people, just like you or me. Our exhibit hopes to demonstrate that often ONE person CAN make a difference – often a bigger difference than anyone thinks possible. That in doing good for others, whether for one human being or many, you do yourself a world of good and transform your own life and gain what one campaigner calls “the contentment of giving “.
If we are talking about change, we must begin with ourselves. We must strive to minister to the needs of the most vulnerable of our society. But it is not enough to simply deliver what is needed to ensure that hunger is staved or thirst is quenched or that civilians are protected from the instruments of war and violence. We must look at the systems in place that contribute to these pressing issues of our time and look at ways we can change them for the better.
“Be the Change” is also a challenge to be inspired by the real heroes in our society and world who are achieving remarkable things for others, not just in remote corners of the world but on our own doorstep too.
PSALM: Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs hosted the exhibit opening on February 7th. Students acted as guides for this awareness event which focused on the recent news of the US reversal of anti-personnel landmine policy. Students handed out information about how to contact United States Senators and Representatives to express concern about this announcement and encouraged the visitors to get involved.