You Must Be the Change in a World Gone Upside Down



Some time back, my wife and I stopped at the local diner for some lunch. When we came out of the restaurant, I noticed that another vehicle had hit our car, marking-up and scratching the paint job on the front bumper and left fender. We had this late-model car for only about two months; to us, this was our long-awaited new car.

Of course, there was no note on the car from the driver who had hit us. In fact, it was a hit and run, and I would have been shocked if the driver had stepped to the plate and admitted the accident. So we were left to pay for this out of our own pocket — about $900 — and for many reasons it was not reported to our insurance carrier. We had just switched carriers, saving hundreds of dollars, and there was a $500 deductible on our new policy. So it made sense for us to absorb the cost ourselves.

After I dropped my car off at the auto body place for repair, I was picked up by the rental car provider. At the car agency, as I waited my turn, another couple returned their rental. They reported that their car had been hit while it was parked outside a local store. Again, there was no note by a driver claiming responsibility and, like me, they chose to avoid the insurance claim and absorb the cost.

So what is wrong with this picture?

  • People not stepping-up, admitting and taking responsibility for their harmful action.
  • Consumers reluctant to report accidents to their insurance companies for fear their policy rates will go up.
  • No reports made to the local police, not really sure how they would have been any assistance. Officers usually are sympathetic but unable to solve this type of hit-and-run crime.

Nowadays people accept dishonest behavior as the norm and are shocked when someone does the right thing. In fact, honest caring behavior is so uncommon that we make a big deal about it when it occurs. Whatever happened to honesty and people looking out for each other? Certainly, it is taught every Sunday at the local church. Perhaps teaching it just one day a week is not enough to make it stick? Maybe we need more examples of people being honest every moment of the day.

To me, the morals of this age in which we live are upside down. The right way seems to be the crooked way; sadly, I know how things are righted and, be aware, this is a painful path. Just read any holy book; they are filled with many examples.

Perhaps I am just being naïve and people have always been out for themselves. Somehow I just don’t think so.

What can anyone do about it? Where am I going with this latest rant?

Yes, these are dark times and many people are out for themselves. This is nothing new. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Every moment of the day we make decisions that affect our collective lives. We can reach higher and make this world a gentler place; life is a reality we create with every thought and action.

Personally, make a decision to choose the higher road and make my/your life an example to self and others. That is what you/I can do about it!

A better world starts with you and me. Consciously make an effort to choose the higher road. And when we are unable to do so, make an effort to clean up, and amend, the situation. Remember what a wise man named Gandhi had to say about all of this: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, spiritual traveler and poet is a student of Sufi Mysticism and the perennial philosophy. For many years, he participated in 2 Sufi mystical schools. Professionally specializing in the healing applications of therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health treatment; he holds a doctorate in education and served on the faculties of multiple colleges and universities. He is author of numerous articles and 9 books on Sufism and spiritual learning. For more information about the author, visit on Facebook and see numerous articles/poems, with links to books on his webpage:


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