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We all want to change the world…

Filed under: God's movement,quotes — 5:05 pm

We all want to change the world.  Right?  But in spite of the many different movements and individuals and institutions that are fighting for justice and peace on this planet, things seem to get worse and worse.  Why is that?  Some want to blame it on “bad people” who “hate the light and want to live in darkness”, but I don’t think that is it at all.  Check out what Ronald Rolheiser writes about our movement toward justice:

“…to change the world in such a way that people want justice and are willingly willing to live in a way that makes justice possible requires an appeal to the heart that is so deep, so universal, and so moral that no person of good conscience can walk away from it.  No human ideology, no private crusade, and no cause that takes its origins in guilt or anger can ever provide that.  And so many people walk away from these great causes in good conscience.  Why?  Because despite the movement’s obvious merit in terms of the truth of the justice they promote, too often the energy driving their quest is not as morally compelling.  In simple terms, the truth is right, but the energy often is not.”

The Holy Longing, Ronald Rolheiser (page 173-174)

The school-yard bully pushes kids around to try and make friends.  It doesn’t work.  Some countries drop bombs to try to bring peace.  It doesn’t work.  And many of us resort to ugly tactics in the name of creating something beautiful and right.  It can never work.  Rhetoric is quickly forgotten.  Actions only rearrange the surface.  But deep change comes from a deep place that’s been changed.

This is so challenging to me.  I don’t want to be a person who does some good things;  I want to be a good person.  I am fully capable of hiding and justifying my brokenness behind the occasional good that comes out of it.  But I don’t want to any more.  I don’t want to be one of those shiny people who gets uglier the more you get to know them.  It’s easy to fool crowds.  Oh God, please redeem every part of me, inside and out.  And help me to, as Ghandi said, “BE the change that I hope to see in the world.”

Who have you seen that most embodies their beautiful ideas with beautiful energy?
Who have you seen live the good they talk about?


  1. Love this! I think too many of us have gotten overwhelmed by the needs in our world and paralyzed for how to do something. I am learning that you can change the world, one person at a time. Being present for your neighbors and friends, responding to simple needs, being more aware of needs in your community, and living each day to the fullest. When you take the time to stop and listen, both to God and the people in your life, there are so many simple things you can do. Your example will help spur others to do the same. Major movements always start with those small daily efforts that catch traction and become something so much bigger!

    Comment by Tammy — August 26, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  2. I serve at a local PADS site (homeless shelter) and recently I saw a fellow volunteer who I recognized, but I couldn’t place who he was. Then it hit me: it was Dr. Gary Burge, living out the Word. He was very nice and humble.

    Comment by Mike 2 — August 28, 2011 @ 8:28 am

  3. […] never learn, you are unable to be a part of the solution. Even if you’re technically right. Fr Ron Rolheiser makes the brilliant observation that “throughout history, many movements based in truth […]

    Pingback by Horseshoe Theory and a Shared Fundamentalism « aaron niequist — July 20, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

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