Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to Transform the World

Transforming the world seems like an extremely ambitious task, but it is actually much easier than you’d think. You don’t have to be President, you don’t have to be rich and you don’t have to be famous. The only thing you have to do is to transform yourself, and anyone can do that. If each person transformed himself, the world itself would be transformed.

What does it mean to transform oneself? It can mean many things, but let’s stick to just two things anyone can do; two things that if we all did would create a world unrecognizable from the one we live in today.

1) Treat others as you would like to be treated.
2) Use your talents to make the world a better place.

That’s it. Were everyone to do this, God’s will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Quite simple isn’t it? Simple but not necessarily easy, but not necessarily hard either. It really adds up to doing a bunch of small things that will create a big difference.

Let’s look at 1) first. This is a tenet of every major religion, and is easy to understand. But keep it simple. When you’re at a restaurant, do you treat your waiter or waitress with kindness? Do you look them in the eye, and say something that will make their day better? If you’re an employer, do you treat your employees with respect, and pay them according to value they’ve contributed to your company? If you are married, do you say something nice each day to your spouse and children? These are the kinds of things that help to create happiness in the world.

Now let’s look at 2). Each of us has one or more talents that can be used to make the world a better place. Let’s say that you just graduated from high school, and are taking a job at McDonalds over the summer to earn extra money. Do the best job you can: smile and be cheerful to your customers, as well as your fellow workers. Make the best double cheeseburger that you can. These will lift the spirits of your customers, and the staff. And it might even get you a raise. If you are good at teaching, teach your students well by treating them respectfully, and by enhancing their joy or learning. You will create students who want to continue learning their entire lives. If you are good with numbers and accounting, make suggestions to your boss about how to increase your companies’ profit, while providing better goods or services to your customers.

It’s likely that the most important set of talents are possessed by good homemakers. Raising and teaching children well, cooking healthy meals, making a house into a home, gardening, etc., are all skills that would benefit a homemaker and her family. And a woman who uses these talents well does a tremendous service to humanity.

That’s it. Try this for 7 days, and if your life doesn’t change, I’ll give you your money back.


Tim Farage is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Dallas. You are welcome to comment upon this blog entry and/or to contact him at


PW said...

Lets see--I have had this philosophy for 30 some years. And it works. I wish I could say that I practice this 100% of the time.... sometimes I become mindless and think others should be making the effort. But that attitude brings anger and frustration - negative emotions which we know are unhealthy. It is so much healthier to only have expectations of yourself--something you have control over.

Be the change you want the world to be.

Unknown said...

If the United States should have the best military in the world, how do the US determine if it does or not have the best military? If the US determines another country may be close to having a better military, what actions does it take? Who in the US will evaluate the capability of the military?

The US constitution allows the President to take military action for immediate threats. The War Powers Act is supposed to limit this power but the constitutional authority to take actions short of declaring war was used for every war since WWII. I what way would you propose to alter the War Powers Act?

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