Buddha Change Philosophy

Change is the only constant. Unfortunately, this maxim has been used to justify an approach to change that almost gives it its own momentum, as if it were an entity that none of us could control. In reality we each have the ability to choose the extent of change we wish to embrace. We also have the ability to choose how we allow change to affect us.

We can choose to change, or stick with what works for us. What we cannot do is decide how others will or will not deal with change. I have taken a personal approach to change that tells me I must participate in bringing about positive influences in the world. Mainly, I do this through education, example, and work. Along with this approach I hold the understanding that I personally do not direct change, nor am I personally responsible for change to occur in the world.

Just as a dysfunctional system cannot change through the efforts of a single individual, change efforts require the support of a community. Because change is not dictated, it is agreed upon, we have choices in the change process. None of us hold the magic ring to save the world from its woes, we each hold a piece of the truth and it is up to us to contribute that truth without expectation of a particular result. The contribution of each piece of truth is what makes change a democratic process. The key is knowing when your contribution is made, so that you can move on to the next area of change.

(I believe it is in accepting personal responsibility for change that fanatics are produced who resort to just about anything to attempt to bring about change - at least their version of it. My approach relieves me of taking personal responsibility for change - I believe there is a higher power at work controlling change, and that change occurs through gentle means. Of course, it could be argued that all this provides is for me to live a comfortable life without trying to struggle to make change. Believe me, I do indeed struggle but on a different level. In contrast, it could also be argued that those who resort to violence to bring about change merely serve themselves in providing an outlet for their anger. Perhaps we are both self serving, I admit my philosophies are chosen because they do serve me - not I them.)

Change will happen with or without our input. However, it is essential that we participate in the process of how it happens. After all, that is what we are here for. Gandhi once said, "Everything that we do is insignificant, but it is most important that we do it." It takes a strong character to realize that efforts may be futile, but necessary.

What I am personally responsible for is my participation in the change process. I participate by the personal choices I make in my life, and consideration of the kind of world they serve to create. Each time a choice is made to copy software or music, we contribute to creating a world of thieves and deception. Each time we choose a product because it is X cents cheaper than another, we create a world where cost cutting is what matters most (and socially responsible choices are secondary). Each time we invest a dollar for the highest rate of return only, and not the impact the organizations we invest in are having on the world, we contribute to a world where making the quick buck is the highest priority. Over the course of our careers we contribute to the success of something in this world - something flourishes because of the contributions we make to it every day. When we choose a paycheck over a conscience, we create a world of apathy, a 9 to 5 world that most people call "The Rat Race." Our bodies, go to work, our hearts lie elsewhere. We vote for the world we want to live in each day, we vote through our actions. Voting with a conscience would go a long way to creating positive change - think about it.

"The trouble with the rat race is,
even if you win you are still a rat."
- Lily Tomlin -

- Contributing to the success of Socially Responsible Organizations. -

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