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    • Donald Sanders

    • November 5, 2014 in Columnists

    The change begins from within

    I wish I was a stronger man. There are so many things in the world that I would love to change. The first changes I would make are right here at home, with myself. I’d open my mind and examine every little nook and cranny. You should join me in this endeavor because how can you truly know anything else if you don’t know yourself?

    Self-examination isn’t only a smart thing to do, it’s healthy as well. In time, you will discover how others view you, how you stand in your society and, most importantly, how you view yourself.

    There is light and darkness in us all. We cannot see what others have inside and others cannot see inside of us. We all have to face our own darkness. If we can’t see what is within our own hearts, then we are doomed to see our own darkness in others. The outside world is only a reflection of the world within us.

    I am older now then I used to be, so I know that nothing is exempt from change. In the past, I always felt helpless and unable to change the world around me. I could never right the wrongs, feed the hungry, or defend the weak against the strong. For me, the world has always been a sad, sad place full of suffering, hate and wandering love. I have always felt powerless to change anything I thought was wrong with the society around me.

    I know now that changing myself and the things I am aware of will help me to improve my life, thus improving the lives of those around me. If I can direct myself in a healthy direction with my thoughts and actions in an honest and straightforward manner, then others may consider me as helpful and worthy of their trust. Trust is most basic. If we are all bricks in a great building, without trust, we are doomed to failure and collapse.

    If we don’t change ourselves, we cannot change the society around us. If we don’t change the society around us, we will not grow as a group, a nation. Without growth, we are destined to the decline and suffering of those with the weakness of a failing character. If we have no hope for ourselves, how can we find hope for others? If we have no honor within ourselves, how can we expect it of others?

    If we look closely at ourselves on the inside, everything will become clear on the outside. If we are not honorable as a people, how can we expect to have an honorable government, or a media that is honest and unbiased? The acts of lying and cheating will fall back upon themselves and what we give is exactly what we will receive. Surely we all know this to be true.

    There seems to be a great evil upon the Earth. Confusion and fear are the greatest weapons it carries. This evil seems to be in control of all. Many of us consider the battle to be lost and we can do nothing but go with the flow, protect ourselves and let others protect themselves. If one group falls by the wayside, we turn away and do nothing to help them up. We condemn entire peoples without consideration of who they really are when we know, way down deep, that they are us and we are them.

    I have learned that being honest and doing the right thing is not all that easy sometimes, but it must be done. If I always expect myself to be honest, to do the right thing and to never settle for less, in time others will learn that what is honest and right for me is honest and right for them as well. They will also know that if they do not do the right thing and settle for less from themselves, they will not be successful in a society that expects honesty and the right thing from all.

    I cannot change society — I can only work to change myself. It’s a work that will never end, nor would I ever wish it would. Know that I will always strive for honesty within myself and know that I expect the same from you. In the end, the worst that can happen is a newly found cooperation and interaction and that, my friend, is growth. Growth is good.

      • Madgew

      • November 5, 2014 at 10:46 am
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      Beautifully said Donald. You are honest and I knew it before I even met you in person.

      • Maya North

      • November 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm
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      Oh, Donald, you are an incredibly strong man. Out of such difficult beginnings and the anguish of Vietnam, you have crafted a life of happiness and love, a sweet family and family of friends who adore you and a legacy of having done so much good for the world. This column is yet another example — the change must first come from looking into the mirror. Big hugs…

      • Kat

      • November 14, 2014 at 5:49 am
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      “There seems to be a great evil upon the Earth. Confusion and fear are the greatest weapons it carries.” This message was exactly for me. I think many of us are inhibited by fear, crippled by anxiety that prevents us from growing and being the best and most effectual people that we can be. I find it interesting the term “Go with the Flow” you really must come join Sunny’s Group. Read her book. It reaches in to the center of your soul explodes and changes your life one tiny contribution to humanity at a time.

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