Photo by Fredrick Kearney Jr on Unsplash
It also sounds a bit easy, and a bit cheesy, but I still like Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit Man in the Mirror. I mean, what sort of changes must we make in our lives for us to address the problems Michael Jackson is talking about? Can we really make the sort of changes which will make the world a better place?
Well, on one hand, it’s unlikely I’m going to bring about world peace through being a bit more forgiving when upset. It’s also unlikely that by recycling my rubbish I’m going to turn around global warming. Yet when we look at history we can see how the actions of individuals, when they decide to make a change in their own life and then work together, do change society. Just look at the suffragette movement, or the actions of people like Martin Luther King.
Thinking about this for my own life it’s a timely reminder that I always have a responsibility for my own actions and that they do make a difference to others. Being more forgiving in my own life demonstrates the impact of the principle to others and will positively impact on other people’s lives and potentially change their world. Recycling my rubbish will alter my ecological footprint on the planet, and again will role model the impact to others on my own attitudes and perspectives.
The thing that often disables me from acting in the right way is the enormity of the end goal. Whether it be equal rights or climate change, it’s only in breaking the goal down to small steps that I can start to make a difference and make some progress on the journey of change. In fact, the same principle applies to any change I want to make in my life too. What is the smallest change I can make which will make a difference and move me forward towards my end goal?
There’s also another benefit to us contributing to larger changes through doing our small part. As the late MJ sung; It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference.
Doing our part in changing in our lives and the lives of those we come in to contact with, no matter how small, feels good as it gives us a sense of purpose and achievement.
So, signing off with the lyrics of the song;
That’s why I’m starting with me. I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways