Sometimes the words we hear or read stay with us forever. One of the best examples of this that I know of is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Countless stickers, inspirational cards, coffee shop blackboards and more have repeated and spread his statement, over and over again for decades. But are we living by these words?
Many of us know that if we want the world to become more peaceful or compassionate, we should start being more peaceful or compassionate. Unfortunately, even people who agree with this often limit their impact on social and environmental causes to long rants on social media, sharing negative images or articles on the world’s problems or signing a few online petitions. Does spreading the negatives really spur action, or worsen the problem? We are drained by compassion fatigue and so overloaded with images of suffering that it can paralyse us when it comes to actually making a difference. Coming home from a full-time job to more responsibility at home can make us feel like we have no time to devote to social causes, or we may be afraid of having to give up too much.
So how could we work making a difference into our lives? The new conscious capitalism proposes that business can, and maybe even must, turn into a force for good in the world. Products and services may give back to a cause, become more beneficial to our health and the environment, or both. This is what I do here at Sacred by Design, especially with my LOVEBomb jewellery range.
Most of us struggle with change however it isn’t as bad as many of us think. Neuroscientist Daniel Glaser has some compelling evidence that change is something we should actively seek out for our mental health. However, a media machine that throws the worst acts of humankind at us, often in rapid succession, with almost no offering of solutions, can make us feel that no change can be good. As author Naomi Klein writes in her book This Changes Everything: “Fear makes us run, it makes us leap, it can make us act superhuman. But we need somewhere to run to. Without that, the fear is only paralysing.” Even many organisations devoted to helping and empowering others commonly focus on the problem and not the solution, but things are starting to change.
Whether change happens in an instant or over many years, meaningful change must come from deep inside. A good start is to contemplate what change we would like to see, and to slow down in order to consider what impacts we could have. And I wouldn’t forget how far we’ve all come either.
And always remember, as conscious consumers we have the power to change the world just by being mindful in what we buy.