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Aug 1, 2013


“Let him who would move the world first move himself.” 

~ Socrates

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” 
~ Mahatma Gandhi 

            I watched a group of young kids of about 10 years old, working on a construction site, bare-foot and bare-headed, as I walked back from one of India’s over 1 million sarkari (government) schools that give every child the right to free education. I wish I could say it was a heart – wrenching sight for me, but it wasn’t! Child labour is dangerously a common sight in India, ask every Indian!
             I looked away almost indifferently, but somewhere I could feel a little light switch on. I was there for a reason.  I was at the government school in a village, working towards my dream to the change the education system of this country. That was my reason. But if there are millions of kids still on the streets, having to work ruthlessly to fill their stomachs, with just two square meals a day, what change can I possibly bring?
           I change one kid. Is it enough? I change one school. So what? I change one village. What about the rest of this humungous nation? These changes never last long anyway. I will never be done. So what on earth is the point of it all?...
           When I was younger, I was an annoying little girl (some may say I still am), who complained and whined about the system, the society’s evils, deforestation, people’s attitude, animal testing and so on. To change the world, you have to first change yourself I was told. I would whine and complain even more saying, such a clogged point of view would never change anything.
           As I walked away from the working kids, I finally understood!
The sarkari school kids that I work with.
           Imagine if I looked into my own self and changed my way of thinking, my way of life and my philosophy. Imagine I change myself. Now, imagine if all of us looked into our own selves and changed our way of thinking, our way of life and our philosophy. Imagine we all change ourselves!

          By changing myself, I have become a part of that changed society where every being is equal and free, have I not? This change is big enough and long lasting enough to actually make a difference (yipeeee!). By changing myself, I have become a part of that society that gives a child the education it deserves, away from the life of a child labourer, have I not? By changing ourselves, we become a part of a society where every being is truly equal and free!

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