Man in the Mirror
Changing myself, has been intense and rigorous. Even changing the smallest of my own habits, has been brutal. Seriously, it took me months just to start getting in the habit of not leaving the day's clothes on the floor, on my side of the bed, when I put on my pajamas at night. Months.
Changing my own backyard has also been hard. I mean this literally. I spent almost two hours doing yard work yesterday and our lawn is hardly up to neighborly standards. When speaking figuratively, the timescale of changing even our own little corner of the world is even longer. It takes years, if not decades.
I don't really care about changing the world, anymore at least. In retrospect, glorifying and evangelizing the idea of being a "world changer" seems silly. First, I believe that all people should have agency over their own lives, which to me is an idea incompatible with the broad intention of changing the world (i.e., other people). Second, changing others doesn't seem to work anyway. Trying to influence and serve others so that they can and do voluntarily change themselves (usually through love, honesty, and compassion) seems to be the only lasting path to "change" there is.
A lot of people seem to have misinterpreted what Gandhiji said about "being the change you wish to see in the world." Regardless of what he actually said, I think the quote is more a call to change ourselves rather than to change the world. If anything, he seemed to suggest - and I agree - that if we change ourselves the world around us also changes.
All in all, I think Michael had it right (and said it best) - I'm starting with the man in the mirror.