=== JKrishnamurti.org – Daily Quote ===
You and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves
The individual is obviously of the greatest significance in society because it is only the individual who is capable of creative activity, not the mass – and I shall explain presently what I mean by that word creative. If you see this fact, then you will also realize that what you are in yourself is of the highest importance. Your capacity to think, to function with wholeness, with an integration in which there is no self-contradiction – this has an enormous significance.
We see that if there is to be any real change in the world – and there must be a real change – then you and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves. Unless there is a radical change in each one of us, life becomes an endless imitation, ultimately leading to boredom, frustration, and hopelessness.
Collected Works, Vol. XI – 172
=== Thoughts ===
It should be obvious, to anyone who’s ever considered it, that “society” or “the world” (call it what you will) is in a constant, flowing movement, like everything else in the universe.
“Society” does not exist separate from it’s constituent parts- society is deliberately constructed by those constituent parts- and those constituent parts are individual human beings. Society is you, and you are society. That’s what we mean when we make a statement like, “I am the world, and the world is me.” This is not an idea. It’s not a conceptualization. It’s a fact.
And it follows, from that fact, that societal changes cannot occur unless individual human beings first change themselves. Society will not change until all of us, as individual people, change our own behavior, our own desires, and our own action. Society will not change if you are unwilling to change yourself.
When you look at society, when you look at the world, this world that human beings have created, this world that you are even now creating with your every thought and action, and you really see the world for what it truly is- What is your response?
Let’s look at the world together right now. Let’s look at what our predecessors constructed, without judging it, condemning or accepting it; let’s simply look at it.
Let’s look at the world for which we are responsible. This is our legacy. This our “life’s work”.
What do you see?
I see appalling cruelty, and criminal neglect. I see rigid divisions between people- between haves and have-nots. I see segmentation and stratification of social, economic, and political classes, and a status-quo power structure which has absolutely no interest in resolving the inequality, inustice, and abuses carried out in it’s name.
I see the environment being trampled, paved, slashed and burned- bombed, gutted, and utterly destroyed- all in the name of “progress”. I see the slaughter of untold millions of plants, animals- and even human beings- carried out by selfish, petty people chasing greater profits, greater luxuries, and the glorificationof themselves at the expense of everything around them.
I’m disgusted by this rampant consumerism, this abject and abominable waste of limited natural resources, and the unabashed pollution and wanton destruction of planet earth- our only home.
I see these things and it makes me embarassed to call myself a human being. I’m embarassed that this is the product of as beautiful a process as our biological evolution. I’m embarassed that this is the product of thousands of years of human civilization. And I’m embarrassed that so very few of us are even interested in discussing it.
Considering that we’re even having this discussion at all, it’s quite obvious that we have a great deal of leisure time on our hands. We have the freedom to pursue whatever entertainment, stimulation, or pasttime we so choose (within reason of course). It’s likely that all of us are well educated, gainfully employed, and generally interested in the welfare of our fellow human beings.
But as we sit here, pondering the calamity that is modern human society, wondering how to fix things, millions of people will go to bed hungry tonight.
Today, species will be exterminated in the pursuit greater profits, acres of Rainforest will be clear-cut and burned to ashes, and the oceans will cotinue to be exploited by overfishing.
Tomorrow, children will starve to death, men will kill each other in armed conflict, and human beings will continue down our violent path toward self-destruction.
Our behavior will continue to create greater chaos, further destroy the planet, and threaten our very existence in the process.
And while all of this goes on, our Politicians, TV News anchors, and the rest of the “mainstream media” will argue whether or not President Obama should attend the International Olympic Games Committee meetings to lobby on behalf of the cit of Chicaco for the 2016 Summer Games.
Of course Obama shouldn’t be there.
There shouldn’t even be a 2016 Summer Games.
We shouldn’t spend billions of dollars on a nationalistic, ego-fueled athletic competition when over 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
We shouldn’t care who runs the fastest, jumps the highest, or shoots the straightest.
We should feed starving children.
We should end unnecessary wars.
And we should stop committing acts that radiate confusion, chaos, suffering, and misery.
Which leads me to my final point:
This world consists of nothing more than the collective sum of our individual desires, beliefs, and actions.
What are you going to do about it?