I've been of the opinion that you can't really change other people. People change themselves. I don't discount the fact that people can be inspired by others, or that people can be persuaded to think or behave differently. I just believe that if the desire to change, self-correct, reflect, or grow is not present in a person, you can beat your head against the wall until you bleed... that person is not going to change. It is always a choice... a choice that I have no control over... so I don't put a lot of effort into trying to get people to be different than they are.
I guess my question now is "Should I?" Nacho's recent comment touched on a lot of points... I'll be thinking about them and responding to them as time and space allow me to do so. For now, I'll just highlight this segment and close with an inquiry. Nacho says:
...yes, people do need to change. I do believe in the potential for change, both individually and socially. Buddhist thought also tells us that people can change.
The question of what changes people, or what ocassions social change, is difficult, and although it may very well be answered by saying "people have to want to change," it doesn't invalidate attempts at persuasion, or approaches that shape how people see things (framing).
[...but don't take it out of context. Read the whole post]
What do you say? Should we engage in Buddhist discourse, practice, and debate in an attempt to change and shape the world we live in and the people in it? As aspiring Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are we obligated to try to change society in order to fulfill our vow to save the world?