The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: I am finding a contradiction between two oft-quoted statements, the first one is by Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I want to change myself.” And the second one is from Steve Jobs, “Those who are, rather those who think they are crazy enough to change the world actually do it.” Shouldn’t one try to bring positive change in the world? Given how society as a whole is deteriorating, shouldn’t one try to change it? I feel people are sometimes just not brave enough to stand up for what is right.
Acharya Prashant: Shruti (Questioner), any real difference between any two things or any two people or any two statements in this world is only a difference between the points they come from, the difference between their very origins. I know what I have said won’t be making much sense till now, so let’s pay attention. You see, you may try to change the world, right? But where are you coming from? What is the center of your thought, motivation, operation? Why do you want to change the world? You might want to change the world, just so that the world becomes more conducive or more suitable to the furtherance of your ego, to the furtherance of your evolutionary mechanism, your animal instincts.
A seller of products definitely wants to change the world. But why? He wants to change the world in probably much the same way the rabbits dig up earth these days. They are trying to change the world, aren’t they? Here I have my lawn and there is a small home for the bunnies and they live there and they’re very busy digging up these days because it’s hot. Their little home and the lawn and the grass and the trees, plants — that’s their universe physically and they are trying to change it. Why are they trying to change it? To bring good to the world. Why are they trying to change it? They are trying to change it so that their physical, biological evolutionary egoistic mechanism can continue itself.
There is no being in the world that does not try to change the world. The question is: why are you trying to change the world? The question is: what within you is prompting you to change the world? Show me one example of any living being from humans to species of the…