The Barriers We Build Ourselves: It all Begins With Self-Improvement

There are times in this world when we look around and examine where we are economically, politically, emotionally, and physically. Inspecting certain aspects of our lives and re-evaluating ourselves as individuals is one of the hardest things to do because it is difficult to be honest with ourselves and because it takes a lot of self-discipline to change something. Most of us are driven by self-interest and tend to be very selfish, we tend to look around and blame the world for our problems without taking into consideration that we are the ones responsible for the consequences of our actions. However small or insignificant it might be no matter where other’s actions have led us or have affected our lives, change and improving our state of existence begins with improving ourselves. Like Gandhi says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Change first begins with us, making ourselves better individuals and citizens of this world in order to see any positive results on a larger scale. It is really easy to blame our circumstances even in the most minute ways. For example, we are living in an era where fast-food chains have grown rapidly and drastically altered the diets and weight of many around the globe. One can argue that there is a problem with this rise in obesity, in a world of common sense one would analyze the causes and instead of slandering the catalysts perhaps change the dynamic of one’s day to day diet inside the home in order to not be part of the problem.

If we want to see any type of change in statistics like these and individuals achieving fitness and being healthy we must stop complaining and get off the couch and do something about it. Ordering take-out multiple times a week and remaining sedentary throughout the week will most likely not result in someone having their ideal body shape. It might be really difficult to not give into having some of those delicious-looking tacos and churros because lets admit it, they taste great but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best option. In a sense that is self-destruction and not self-improvement or progress.

I am not one to judge anyone’s dietary habits but that is just an example on a small scale of how empire influences and damages us. We have agency, each individual is their own little empire in a way so we decide who we are going to be and what we are going to do. We have the power to open our eyes to people and situations that affect us. We can decide to do something about anything we really want to see a change in; we have a right to speak up and act upon our dislikes and external factors harming us but it all begins with us individually. It truly begins with being better individuals and improving who we are. Depending on the person it might mean doing different things and changing different aspects of their lives and way of thinking and processing information, but it all comes down as to whether or not we are willing to be that change.

It is not easy to live in this world, we all face adversity, some more on a larger scale than others. What India went through in the nineteenth century as a result of the British Empire exploiting and interfering in the lives of the people had severe repercussions. The British did a great job at imposing themselves on the nation and often times greatly altered the dynamic of the people and its territory. There really was no justification, but regardless of the deaths and the bloody uprisings the fact was that people were not having any of it. People like Gandhi mostly argued against modern society and even went the great lengths as to write a book named Hind Swaraj (largely discussing Indian home rule) and extending on the idea that it is not necessarily that he despised the British, but that the problem was the nation allowing themselves to get stepped all over. He largely advocated improvement of the self and stood up for what he believed in would help make the modern world and himself better.

Hind Swaraj largely argued against modern civilization and its remnants and being the best one could be with their conduct (Chaturvedi). Again, it all begins with the individual. In today’s world, there has been a lot of tension especially in the Empire of America and its executive branch. As certain groups of people feel the weight of being part of certain groups in the nation, thousands of individuals decided to take up a burden and part-take against society. The Women’s March that occurred in the beginning months of 2017 all over the country had thousands of individuals participating, as well as in the protest concerning ‘A Day without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees’.

Image result for women's march la 2017

For  the women’s march it was about individuals coming, “together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” As seen in the image above many attended and invested in participating against today’s modern day social oppression and disappointments. In order to see any change in this world and want to be part of something bigger, it really comes down to each of us being the difference. Maybe we should consider what Gandhi had to say about self-improvement and being the change we want to see in today’s civilization.

                                                                   Works Cited

Chaturvedi, Vinayak. “M.K. Gandhi & Hind Swaraj.” Humanities Core Lecture, 28 Feb. 2017, UCI, HIB 100. Speech.

City News Service. “Metro Officials Report 360,000 Additional Riders on Day of Women’s March.” Los Angeles Daily News, 24 Jan. 2017, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Gandhi, M.K. “Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule.” Gandhi: ‘Hind Swaraj’ and Other Writings, by Gandhi and Anthony J. Parel, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 1997.

Reingwirtz, Sarah. Thousands gather in downtown Los Angeles for the Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. 21 Jan. 2017. Los Angeles Daily News, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Varela, Julio Ricardo. “Thousands March in ‘A Day Without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees’ Milwaukee Protest.” Latino USA, 13 Feb. 2017, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Women’s March. Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


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