Philosophy or That's what it's all about!
So I'm cleaning [house] and thinking about changing the world. I'm not thinking "I need to change the world," I'm musing on what kinds of things change the world...
And so here's what I think: If by "change the world" a person means "make the world better," then step #1 must be to decide right then not to make the world worse.
Accidents sometimes make the world worse, and carelessness, and flukes of weather and acts of God. But if a personal decision makes the world worse, then what?
There are different levels of "oops"—didn't know, didn't think, forgot, didn't care, was pisssed off or drunk, was furious and wanted to do damage... What can be undone? What can be atoned for?
But anyway... the world starts to get better when people stop making it worse, and a person's life starts to get better when he consciously decides to do what is better instead of what is worse in any given moment.
I have a baby book I've written in sometimes. It has a page for when a person turns 30, 40, 50, to record one's philosophy of life. (Maybe it starts at 20, I'd have to dig it out and look.) I didn't know what that meant, when I was young. When I was 40 I knew, but didn't want to write down a snapshot philosophy of life, because I figured it could change by the time I was 41.
Life changes, and now I foist my philosophy of life onto just anyone who comes by my blog, or who says they'd like to learn something from me. I never hunt them down and give them a test later, though. Holly said to me one day something like "Friends come in and out of your life like bus boys in a restaurant." WOW, I thought. That helps! That helps when I'm sad that someone is slipping out of my daily life. I told her it was pretty wonderful and she said it was a Stephen King line from "The Body."
People come and go and we change each other. We amuse each other if we're lucky and frustrate each other if we're not so lucky.
"Have to" is poison; Make Choices!
I wrote this in 2010, in e-mail, to a young Brazilian man living in Europe—a new dad, who was corresponding with me about his thoughts and work about living differently in the world. He had used "had to..." in a short film he shared with me, and we were discussing that.
If you eliminate "have to" from your thoughts, it's like driving a nice standard transmission rather than riding in the back of a crowded bus. If you see everything as a conscious choice, suddenly you are where you have chosen to be (or you have a clear path to moving toward where you would rather be).