Well, you know, we all want to change the world…
You say you want a revolution, Well, you know, We all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution, Well, you know, We all want to change the world.
- John Lennon, 1968
Most Beautiful One and I ran away from home together shortly after the Beatles first performed this song. We were part of a counterculture that, like John Lennon and friends, renounced violence and promoted peace and love.
Okay. I’ll say it. We were hippies! We were living on a friend’s porch and didn’t have jobs. Our daily life was a constant struggle.
After a few dangerous experiences at sixties “peace rallies,” we realized that attending protests, while definitely important, wasn’t going to be sufficient to cause humanity, much less ourselves, to undergo a fundamental change.
Fortunately, we went to a #Buddhist discussion meeting in Santa Monica later that year where we learned about a practical way to do an internal “human” revolution, a never-ending process of continual self-improvement. After 19 years of sadness and insecurity, I finally began to glimpse a positive way forward.
I knew that I needed to improve for both my sake and Most Beautiful One’s. Thanks to a consistent daily practice, which we’ve continued to this day, I began to better control my negative emotions, take responsibility at work and become a more compassionate and supportive husband while trying to care for others. I also learned the importance of facing my fears, getting out of the house and making causes for our future. This has make a profound difference in my life and, now almost 50 years later, has resulted in me being able to play music, create art, write, and speak in public — dreams I had abandoned in my youth.
John Lennon declared, “…when you talk about destruction, don’t you know you can count me out.”
As Daisaku Ikeda has said, “…selfish anthropocentrism, unchecked greed and a sense of entitlement can only lead to humanity’s downfall.”
Most Beautiful One and I now understand that respect for the dignity of life and the peaceful transformation of a single human is the most fundamental of all revolutions. This remains our greatest source of hope and is a constant motivation to change ourselves to create a better world.