Our Quote or No Quote episodes come roaring back with the most important person we’ve ever interviewed — Arleen Lorrance, the teacher and social innovator who created the “be the change you want to see happen” idea. As “be the change you want to see in the world,” this idea is usually attributed to Gandhi, but Buzzkill Institute historians and quote history experts have proved over and over again that it started with Arleen Lorrance in 1970!
Watch our interview with her on YouTube: https://bit.ly/PBArleenLorranceYouTube
The earliest instance of this quote comes from 1970, and its author was a school teacher in Brooklyn named Arleen Lorrance. Ms. Lorrance taught at Thomas Jefferson High School, which was going through difficult times in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Local poverty and violence were having very negative effects on the school and the students there. Ms. Lorrance started something called The Love Project as a way to improve the lives and education of the students at Thomas Jefferson High. The idea was that, if kids growing up in a rough neighborhood had an oasis of calm and acceptance at the school, it would improve their lives as well as their learning, and they would bring these positive benefits out into the community every day when they left school.
The concept of “be the change you wish to see in the world,” began in a report about The Love Project written by Ms. Lorrance, and published in an education reform text. The first two sentences of her report were, “One way to start a preventative program is to _be_ the change you wish to see happen. That is the essence and substance of the simple and successful endeavor of The Love Project.”
Source: Arleen Lorrance, “The Love Project,” in Richard D. Kellough (ed.), Developing Priorities and a Style: Selected Readings in Education for Teachers and Parents (1974), p. 85.
According to school reports and newspaper articles from the time, The Love Project was a great success at Thomas Jefferson and the school was transformed in a very positive way for the rest of the 1970s. So we have Ms. Lorrance to thank both for the concept of “be the change you wish to see…” as well as the practical and immediate effects it had in Brooklyn.
Arleen Lorrance and Diane Kennedy Pike, Empowered by Love: We Are Not Alone
Two women, strangers to each other and living 3,000 miles apart, were mysteriously brought together for spiritual work. That work has continued, by word of mouth alone, for over 45 years, facilitating the growth of thousands of participants into higher consciousness.
This memoir reveals the creation of a supportive, international Love Family of individuals that is open to everyone. It is rooted in the six Love Principles, originated by Arleen Lorrance in 1970 in a Brooklyn, New York, high school as part of The Love Project, including “Be the change you want to see happen,” a phrase mistakenly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi for many years.
In the pages of this book you will find the profound wisdom Arleen and Diane have lived and taught, the methods they have developed for expanding awareness and creating realities, and a description of their relationship which they consider a Divine Union.
Filled with inspiration, practicality and humor, this is a must-read for those on a spiritual path.