Many people when they see wrongs, they want to correct it. For myself, I’ve often felt compelled to tell someone of my disapproval by anger, or even by avoiding him or her if my actions do not affect their behavior. I know this is wrong on my part. Even in recent history, we see countries invading other countries to stop dictators or terrorists. We have protests on our campuses and streets against right and left wing policies. The question arises; can these actions against others change people’s thoughts and behaviors? The answer in most cases will be a definite no.
The American author John C. Maxwell once said, “Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves.” Imagine each individual as the center of their own universe, with change beginning from within them. The change within our own minds affecting the world is a unique concept.
In our religion, God tells us that change comes from within our minds. Many of us have the evils of greed, arrogance, self-love, enmity, covetousness, and anger within our minds. God tells us that the actions or paths of these evils are what cause us to suffer. God does not reprimand us for having these thoughts, but he does warn us not to act on these thoughts. By not acting on them, God tells us that we can eventually remove them from our minds.
But what happens if we act on our evil thoughts when inconveniences or temptations occur in our lives? God tells us that we will continue to accumulate more evil thoughts in our minds, and will continue to have more sufferings and temptations in our lives. One can say that there will appear to be more evil coming from outside of us. But God tells us that the source is coming from within us; and tells us that we do not understand the soul or heart. It is the soul one must understand to why we suffer or have joy.