Friday, August 01, 2014

Desire for Change

We often debate about the kind of people that have the maximum impact on society- people that can bring in the change that we all want to see. I have somehow always believed that any person who gets agitated about any situation or state- be it as personal as constant tension with his girlfriend or as professional as customer dissatisfaction and dwindling sales of the product he handles , as individual as the deteriorating condition of his grandmother or as societal as the gaping holes in the social net for the elderly- does have the inherent capacity to change things for the better himself.

 I wouldn't wait for that moment when I am capable of doing something out of this world- that is the most effective panacea for eliminating that cause of agitation.  The reason I wouldn't wait is not because I feel that moment won't come- it will eventually- but for that, I can't be a mute spectator today. Every time I execute an idea, its impact is there for me to see. I would know how juvenile it is or whether I am fixated on the wrong path . Some mistakes are an inevitable part of any serious effort to grapple with the reality. In a way, despite mistakes and setbacks, it is perhaps no misfortune that no ready-made, cut and dried, symmetrical formula is available to us - to cure what ails us today. 

Such formula that you wait for are often lifeless, and therefore poor guides to action .But who knows the impact of what you have taken up today- it may be just be as potent as the first squeeze of the olive that gives the best tasting and most valued "extra virgin" olive oil. Could I allow not acting on those ideas and age to probably shell out an ordinary olive oil at the third or fourth squeeze? Could I allow not risking at each small step and perfecting the path to eliminate the cause for my agitation? Someone criticized me for having this attitude- dubbing me as a part of  the "worse kind" bureaucrat class who just take these baby, frivolous or paltry steps for personal satisfaction when in reality, the situation at large doesn't improve a tad bit.  My answer to this is- the probability of the right idea striking the right person at the right place and the right time is low enough to shake people into constant action- that eureka moment will only be realized if we all do what best we can today. 

There will be systemic limitations for sure- but just as Jonathan Livingstone Seagull believed- your gift is not only your limitless thought but also the love for the system you are a part of and that may have always considered you to be an outcast. A classic case of "Rome was not built in a day"- look around you, appreciate any step taken with the right intent- if you find it insignificant, don't belittle it and push them into the same state of inaction that you are in- instead, join them and let their and your ideas pick up steam.
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