Be The Change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mohandas Gandhi

This saying has been attributed to the famous Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. However, Gandhi died in 1948, and the earliest close match to the above quote appeared many years later in a book written by Arleen Lorrance published in 1974. Lorrance described her unhappiness while employed at a high school in Brooklyn, New York. A chapter in her book was titled “The Love Project”, and Lorrance was the initiator and facilitator of the project. The saying under examination was a core principle. (Emphasis in references added by me.)

One way to start a preventative program is to be the change you want to see happen. That is the essence and substance of the simple and successful endeavor known as THE LOVE PROJECT.

In 1975 a newspaper in Reno, Nevada presented a remark from a local minister who was familiar with a key principle of “The Love Project”:

“Be the change you want to see happen, instead of trying to change everyone else,” is one of the Love Project Principles Rev. Ernest Troutner likes to recite when counseling couples considering marriage.

In 1913 Mohandas Gandhi published a piece about snakebites that included a thematically matching passage:

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.

I will let you, the reader, decide to whom the credit for the above quote should go.

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