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A quick thought for today, because I’m drowning in Japan photos and traveling till the weekend. (Join me for snapshots on Instagram, though!)

The news has grieved me this week. Reading about Charleston while thousands of miles away was a bit surreal. Throughout the articles and comments, the looming question seemed to be, when will things ever change? 

The shackles of racism have held this nation in bondage for long enough. We’ve decided that we’ve seen enough. We’ve decided that it’s time for an overhaul. We’re forcing our political leaders to tread boldly and our future leaders to take a stand.

What will change the world?

The other day, someone made a remark that I found particularly poignant. He said, “Last generation’s question was, what is truth? This generation wants to know, what is good?

What is good? we ask.

Which leaders are good? Whose words are good? Are our laws good? Whose ambitions are good? Which past-times are good?

And, can this world be good? We want to know.

I think it’s odd how we separate who we are as individuals from who we are as people. There’s a specific “we”– you and I– and then there’s a collective “we”– no one in particular.

Generalization makes terms less personal. We use the phrase “sticking it to the man” whenever we want to subvert power. Who’s the man? Is there a person behind that man? Several people, perhaps?

As we bring forth change to our needy world, there’s one thing we must remember. This world is made of people. Institutions are made of people like you and me. Corporations are made up of people too (I think). Nations are made of people, and try as we might to convince ourselves otherwise, they are no more and no less than we are.

So what changes the world? It must be what changes you and me.

And if you’ve ever made a significant resolution to change, and actually followed through, then you know how hard it is. Transformation requires companionship, support, discipline, grace, wisdom, hope, and much more. Only with those things can we make lasting change. That which has the power to transform you and me, also has the power to transform the world. 

It’s hard for us as individuals to change, but it’s possible. And whatever changes us, changes the world. Let’s start there.

What will change this world