‘Be the change you want to see in the world’, a quote by Ghandi, this can be interpreted in many ways, however I believe it is saying that if you want to change the world, you must first learn to change yourself. In other words, you can’t just assume that others will take the first step, but changing yourself first to be an example or revolution for them. Gandhi effectively practiced this, making him an iconic leader in the world. Nonetheless, there are many perspectives on how TO change, whether it be waiting for it, or actually doing something about it.
Without change or updating, we are excluded, since the world is advancing at a very fast pace all around us. Change itself is as important as adapting to it. Innovation carries us through the future. If you never change you will be regarded as simple and stubborn by society. The only way to change the world or even one life is to change yourself. For me to elaborate further into the concept of change, I’ll refer to 3 different text types. The first is our class’s prescribed text, Pleasantville, A Meek artwork from the stimulus booklet, and the Harry potter book series.
The film ‘‘Pleasantville’’, directed by Gary Ross, revolves around modern teenage twins – David and Jennifer; being transported into a 50’s sitcom, Pleasantville. This time period of the 1950s was portrayed as a time when people and life were less complicated; a time when everyone knew their rightful place in society. However, as the film ironically shows, this was a time when people were most ignorant, racist and most undoubtedly sexist. Gary shatters this illusion of the ‘great’ 1950s American society by displaying how its deficiencies are steadily changed from black and white to exuberant colour.
Colour is the major significant sign of change, and it is seen through momentous scenes. Jennifer, who is forced to play the role as Mary-Sue educates her mother on different impulsiveness. This was a highly momentous scene, as her mother Betty, willingly followed these foreign experiences, and colour began to erupt to the point when a tree outside was engulfed in flames. This is one of the first signs of the drastic changes in the town of Pleasantville. It was shown on Betty’s face that she was in a state of extreme pleasure through close-up shots.
Gradually, this began a revolution in Pleasantville. These changes in the society split the town in two, those who opposed it, and those who embraced it; but in the end, the whole town was absorbed in colour. Gary shows that ‘change is inevitable’ once a catalyst for change is added to the ordered life of “Pleasantville”. As said before, change itself is as important as adapting to it. Those who were first opposed to the idea of change, succumbed, unless they wanted to be regarded as simple and stubborn by the rest of the society.
In the stimulus booklet, I chose the picture drawn by Meek, with a homeless man holding up a sign that states ‘keep your coins, I want change’. This powerful image can take upon many perspectives; it is not specifically tailored to one thing. Handing a homeless person some money could help them in the short term, through buying food or warm clothing. However, it may also harm them, as there are possibilities of buying drugs. The artist’s message is that vital political and social change is needed.
Instead of wanting just money, which is temporary – he wants permanent change, not just for himself, but for the world. Change is also explored in the legendary Harry Potter series, as many characters endure through their own personal change. One of the most distinct changes, would be Harry’s transition from the tedious muggle world, muggles being non-magic people, into the enchanted world of magic, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a place where he calls home. Neville Longbottom, comes across as clumsy, cowardly and an introverted boy.
However, in his later years, he showed that he possessed great courage and perseverance, being one of the major contributors in defeating the Dark Lord. Neville is perhaps one of the most drastically changed characters through changing one’s self. This is a great example of Ghandi’s quote, as he did, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, changed himself to be the change he wanted to see in the world. Change is as important as adapting to it and innovation carries us through the future.
Through these three texts, you either need to change yourself, or inspire others to make the world somewhat of a better place to live in. Change can be difficult, and it’s cumbersome. When it comes down to it, we are creatures of habit, and we’re driven by our past responses; it’s incredibly hard to change our behaviour when we’ve been operating a certain way our whole lives. But there needs to be change for a different, or even brighter future, and the world isn’t going to change on itself.
January 9, 2018
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