Before we attempt to change society, should we not first look to change within ourselves?



Changing the world….

Isn’t this something that we all, deep down, want to do? Isn’t there a point in all of our lives where we stop and ponder over the injustice and unfairness of it all? Whether it be for only a one, shining moment or a lifetime quest that drives everything that we do and say?

For our community, it’s the injustice of being stigmatised against for an illness we did not ask for. It’s the injustice of being told to ‘cheer up’ or  to ‘get on with it’, when such advice is typically as useful as telling an elderly man with a crippled leg to hop about and perform a somersault. It’s the burning sense of frustration that stews and boils in your abdomen as those who have little to no understanding of our plight attempt to silence our concerns with unhelpful responses or downright irritating anecdotes of how they got through their own periods of darkness.

To give you an idea of where I’m coming from, there’s always been a part of me that has wanted to start a blog. In fact, when I did ‘officially’ start it, a couple of years ago. I imagined myself writing every day, publishing at least one entry ( a tad optimistic seeing as my posts are pretty lengthy as it is!) a week, with a mass of followers cheering me on each step of the way.

It is only with the benefit of hindsight that I realise how idealistic and, lets face it, nonsensical those expectations were. In many ways I was doomed to fail because not only were my ambitions so out of touch with reality, but I expected the world to revolve around me for no explicable reason other than it should.

Thus it so happened that after a brief period of euphoria I slowly found myself slipping into a pit of despair as I struggled to even write one sentence without over scrutinising it and beating myself up over how imperfect it was. At some points I even managed to convince myself that I was somehow letting myself down as a human being.

Whilst I am usually the last person to advocate an excess in introspective thinking, perhaps a healthy dose of such a thing would be beneficial not only for ourselves, but for those around us too. After all, are we not all imperfect with our own collection of flaws and an infinite potential to have lapses in judgement and dubious opinions of self worth?


Just a passing thought…




What do you think? Are we too hasty in our efforts towards changing what we dislike about the world around us as opposed to challenging ourselves to alternative ideas and philosophies? If so, how exactly do you establish the balance between attempting to change the world around you, and your own internal thoughts?

I look forward to hearing your point of view on this!



Emotional support helplines:

Samaritans :116 123

Rethink Mental Illness advice line 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 09:30-16:00; local rate)

Sane Line:0845 767 8000

Mind also has a useful guide of support and services, which can be found by clicking the link right here

17 thoughts on “Before we attempt to change society, should we not first look to change within ourselves?

  1. I love this blog, very thought provoking 🙂 Over the past 18 years my circumstances haven’t changed much at all, just different time, different location, however over time, I have changed. In spite of my PTSD, I have found Peace, and I found that through my faith, but each to their own, some find peace and relief other ways, and it’s all good. I know I can’t do anything about my circumstances, but I can control my reactions to what life throws at me. I have learnt a lot about myself, and grown in many areas of my life. I have learnt not to sweat the small things, patience in waiting, to trust myself again, so many valuable lessons, and I am so Blessed to have learnt. I am not where I would like to be, but I’m not where I used to be, and I’ve learnt to enjoy the journey in between, Life is Perfect, warts n all 🙂 The challenges of life will always be there, I am learning new ways of coping with them, and through that, I feel stronger and more confident within myself, I have learnt not to care what people think, and that is such a Blessing. Change is always possible, when we start within. God Bless xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi A Blessed Life. Thank you for giving this is a read. Whenever it comes to coping mechanisms I can see why faith is such a useful one to have. Ironically, even though I was baptized and raised as a Roman Catholic, I soon found out that as I got older, my mindset clashed completely with religion and such. So I drifted away from the church. However if it provides solace for you then I am happy to hear it 🙂

      I can however relate to the relief and sense of contentment associated with knowing how far you’ve come. Even now, while I write this, I am not in a good place mentally. In fact I am in a very bad place. Yet despite all of that I can acknowledge my achievements and that at least tells me I’m still in control.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi depressionistheenemy … I’m not Religious in any shape or form, and am not associated with any Church, and like you I am baptised Catholic, but in saying that I just love and adore Jesus and follow His teachings. What He offers is a beautiful Way of Life, a journey to the heart 🙂 I am sorry to hear that your in a bad place mentally, I know how tough that can be, however I see a strength in you, you seem so level headed, and that is half the battle, and inspiring 🙂 If you ever need to vent, or chat, my ears are always open. Take care my friend, I am praying you find peace of mind. God Bless xxx


      2. I am so glad that you had a good weekend, sometimes that’s all we need, just to get away for a break 🙂 I pray you have an amazing week, filled with love, peace and joy. God Bless xxx


    1. Hey Nina. Thanks so much for your support! It means a lot on days like this. While I do plan to take a week off some time in October, I still have a few entries I am working on that I want published before then. Fingers crossed!


  2. An excellent post! Through changing and understanding better ourselves first, we will be much better equipped in helping others and making the world a better place since the more we get to know ourselves the better our understanding of others and the world will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wasn’t going to comment because I didn’t think I had much to say except that it’s an interesting question. However, then I read the very next blog on my feed and found this:

    ‘We humans are hard-wired for hope, I think, and are always stumbling toward some vision of wholeness and flourishing, goodness and peace, truth and beauty, even when we’re barely aware of it, often when we’re failing miserably at it. To hope is to be alive. To hope is to keep moving…’

    ( )

    Seems to me that’s pretty much what you’re saying. In a certain sense, it doesn’t matter whether we are seeking to change ourselves or to change the world. The key is the hopeful outlook – a vision of goodness, truth and beauty that is big enough to hold us all.

    I agree that self-understanding can help us to understand others and that perhaps this is an important first step. I mean, most of us are horrified by the actions of terrorists. But when I become aware of how easy it is to get angry with those who seem to be getting in the way of my own dreams and visions… then the actions of such people begin to make a lot more sense. They, too, are looking for a better future for themselves. It’s just that their vision (and probably mine as well) isn’t big enough to include us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very interesting point regarding us being hard wired to hope. It would explain why people who attempt to take their own lives can bounce back from it for instance.

      Exactly. Sometimes I feel it is sadly inevitable that a collision of visions/dreams results in bad things happening.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks repsychl! I was very intrigued by your entry too. I really like your detailed and clearly well researched approach to the subject. Particularly the following excerpt:

      ‘if one comes to realise their self-worth and capability through sustained effort in overcoming adversity, they can emerge with more resilience rather than disheartenment’

      Considering how many people struggle with their mental illness every single day, it’s definitely made me hopeful. I’m going to read more into Bandura too.

      Thank you for writing this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t see as an either-or. You can’t be okay with how the world is right now. Hate is getting worse, stigma is getting worse. We’re taking rights away, not giving them to. If you have C-PTSD like I do, you know what’s out there in the world. But…you can’t change the world until you can change yourself. You can’t speak out for others while shame silences your own voice. It’s hard to change others’ minds when you are too afraid of them to be around them. You are supposed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, and that probably applies to changing the world, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi lavenderandlevity. Thanks for your comment! I completely agree with what you’re saying – until we are content with who we are as individuals it is hard to imagine being in a position to change anything else around us. Your analogy with the oxygen mask is a particularly apt one!

      Apologies for not responding sooner! I must have overlooked your response originally 🙂


    1. Thanks for your response to this! I very much agree with you – while society could certainly do with some restructuring in certain areas (particularly the mental health services in my opinion!) I have found that a conscious attempt to be authentic in my thoughts and subsequent actions has proven beneficial for my own happiness in the long run.

      Liked by 1 person

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