“Be the change you want to see in the world” is an adapted quote from Mahatma Ghandi that has become popular because it is motivational and direct. While they may not be Ghandi’s exact words, they get at the gist to be active about what we’d like to see different, rather than passively complain.

The change I would like to see in the world is being more connected to each other in a genuine sense. To focus on what can bring us together rather than on what divides us. I believe that the core of people is love, but that we get distracted by proving our points and clinging to our preferences and our differences divide us because we have a view of one way being right and another way being wrong. We don’t dig down to our common ground.

I was told by a friend in college that I could always see both sides of an issue, that I never took sides, and that I should be passionate about one side and that would make me stronger. I was in my twenties and I took that comment as a sharp criticism. That I was neither strong nor passionate. Now that I am older and wiser, I view my ability to see both sides of an issue as one of my great strengths. It makes me a great listener. Someone who can contemplate. Someone who can see where the other side is coming from even if I don’t agree with them.

One of my sisters once wrote in a card to me that I have “quiet determination.” That describes me well. I am not going to argue. Or pick a fight. Or tell others how they should feel or act. But I am going to use my writing to bring people together to reflect on the universal truths we share at our core.

As our country faces a day with so much division, how can you share some part of yourself that connects us today, tomorrow, and for many days to come? What change will you be in the world?

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My 2017 hopes are to build community and to collaborate with others. Find me at www.everydayessays.com

Originally published on Everyday Essays.

Originally published at medium.com