This is the second half of the equation that began with the previous podcast: “Change You, Change the World.” Because everything exists in interdependence (and not independently), it is also true that if we change the world, we change ourselves.
But how do we do this? At one level, we change ourselves when see ourselves trying to change the world – acting, speaking, and even thinking motivated by the intention of wanting to help others and promote their welfare.
Karma is at bottom all about intention. When we are guided by “good” intention (relatively selfless, compassionate, and other-directed) we receive a pleasant result; and when motivated by “bad” intention (selfish and self-centered, without concern for others) we reap unpleasant results.
While we know what our own intentions are, we cannot know what motivates other people. And so one quick and easy way to change our experience of karma when it comes to our experience of other people is to just assume that their intentions toward us are positive no matter what they say and do. With such an assumption, every interaction with others becomes beneficial to us. How is this person trying to help me? What are they trying to teach me?
Such an attitude allows us to see the world differently. Instead of a fearful, dangerous place in which others are always out to get us, we come to our interactions with others with a mind-set of trust and openness. Paranoia is transformed into “pronoia” – everyone is out to get me. . . enlightened.
Change the world (i.e., our assumptions about what motivates others in their relations with us) and we change ourselves (into people much more confident, at peace, and happily engaged with other people).