Who are we as individuals if we are not changing the world?
Who are we as a people if we are not changing the world?
There are many animals that are caught up in the nuances of altering their environment, transforming their thoughts, and modifying their actions. However, how many creatures do we know that do all three at the same time? Changing the world seems to be what makes us human.
A lot of people seem to believe they don’t have a role in changing the world. As I grow older, I see many of my friends relax into complacency, trusting that everything works “fine” or becoming completely oblivious to the situations in the world that need to change.
I have personally experienced the struggle of living in more dire circumstances where my basic needs weren’t met. In those times, changing the world seems to be the farthest thing away from your mind, as you become fixated on your next meal, keeping the electricity and water running, wearing sufficient clothes, if only to deal with your personal security, money, health and well-being, or illnesses. After that, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you start thinking about your family, friends, and intimate relationships.
After your relationships with others, you start considering your self-esteem and self-respect, including strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom. However, after each of those needs are met, a person can become self-actualized, capable of doing anything a human can. At this point, they live by the reality that what a person can do, they must do.
Maybe everyone is living under the guise that they’re needy and without wholeness in their lives. Maybe, according to Maslow, there are few fully self-actualized people in the world actually realizing their ability and the necessity of changing the world. Each of us can do something, anything.
Someone once said, “Service is the rent we pay for living,” and maybe the secret to our full humanness is doing things for others besides yourself, no matter who you are or what relationship you have with the world around you. Our humanness- including the joy, struggle, certainty, confusion, daily living, and fantasies we all have- is the center of who we are and what we do. It is us!
Remember your humanity and do something. Please.