Saturday, May 07, 2022

Be Wise, Change Yourself

 


One of the changes in the last two months that has happened - almost imperceptibly, until it suddenly reached the point it could not longer be ignored - is that I have surrendered the idea of "changing the world", even in small portions.

It is a funny thought when it suddenly hits one:  the years spent brooding over the state of the world, perhaps some forays into making things "different" or "better" or that most elusive of items, "changing other people".  Years of grousing about how things are not going the right way and that if only - if only - the world was changed, it would be better.

And then - suddenly - it disappears.

Can one change the world by changing one's self?  Certainly.  Many people have done it:


But change by personal example takes a great deal more time than change by brute force or "movements".  And it is not nearly as rewarding in that the progress I see will often see glacially slow, or not even happen.

But that, ultimately, is not really the point.

Stoicism would tell us that the only things we can control - and thus we can change - are ourselves, our actions, and our reactions.  Christianity teaches that salvation is a personal matter: we cannot be saved on behalf of anyone, it has to be for ourselves alone.

Changing ourselves is an exploration that literally has no frontiers or boundaries.  We can always be working - every second of the day if we desire (although that might be exhausting) on making some aspect of ourselves different, and (presumably) better.  There are no laws, no restrictions, no "things that have to happen" for us to start.  Today.  At this moment.

Ultimately in the course of time, it is the wise ones that are remembered and revered far more than the clever ones.  Let us then seek to be wise and make the change that we can always guarantee will be accomplished.

Let us change ourselves.




6 comments:

  1. Nylon125:29 AM

    Never wanted to change the world, nowadays too many others want you to change to become them. THAT raises my hackles. The older I've gotten and the more folks that I've cared about have passed the more I have changed. Too few appreciate/understand the process of change from within. With every year that passes there are more and more stupid people surviving passing that trait on that Darwin looks for so eagerly. Stoicism TB? Who does he play for?!

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    1. Nylon12, I believe Stoicisim ended up going as a fourth round draft pick to the New York Jets. Everyone acknowledges it was a good pick for them but not for Stoicism. That is the way the draft goes anymore...

      We certainly do live in an age when people want us to change to be more like them, although somehow our culture claims we still value individualism. You are correct that many people understand change perhaps less well now than ever, fueled by a belief that the only way to effect change is by brute force. Brute force can change things; the issue is that very often the change they believe they are accomplishing is skin deep and propped up by a system that has to stay in place in order to survive.

      In terms of Darwin, we have simply delayed it, not denied it. We have preserved people from the worst of their choices largely by subsidizing it directly through spending, mostly that of the government. I suspect that when the economic balloon collapse gains steam - even as we may see it doing soon - lots of these things will - unfortunately for some - come home to roost.

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  2. Show me a self made man and I will show you the product of unskilled labor. There is one and only One that I know of that was described by the Lord God as "...in whom I am well pleased." Cooperate with what He is doing in your life. That is the best way.

    "It takes God in the man
    For man to be man
    As God intended
    Man to be"

    Bernerd Briscoe 1983 His Hill Ranch Camp
    Capernwray Fellowship / Torchbearers

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    1. True STxAR - but even then, we have to be willing to change instead of either just being a lump or seeking to change everyone around us.

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  3. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Almost funny how it seems to evolve. In my workplace, we have been officially notified by "Governance branch" that it is now "inappropriate" to call a colleague "mate". For an Australian, calling someone you like "mate" is as natural as breathing. And some "leader" in head office actually spent a lot of time carefully crafting this formal document to be "just-so". At first we laughed, and thought it was a joke. Then we railed against it. Now we just laugh openly and have added yet another diktat to the ignore list. "Governance branch" consists almost entirely of newly graduated, very important young women, and all closely resemble that leader of the new Ministry of Truth in Bidens America. They feel it is extremely important to announce their pronouns in all email correspondence and at the start of departmental meetings - the more important the meeting, the more imperative to pay respect to the traditional owners of "country" and announce their pronouns. I can't wait for someone to ask for my pronouns - which will be; "me, me, me, me, me". Life goes on, and the care factor for the theatre is zero Kelvin. Another day in "paradise" . . . .

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    1. We have had the same sort thing - here in the Upper Northern Colonies, the generic term "guys" has been used for time out of mind to include men and women. It has become somewhat of a generically accepted term - well, until lately. Now it is discouraged. We are being encouraged to use the "Y'all", which strikes me as hilarious since Southern culture is generally considered backward and frowned upon by Our Political And Social Betters (OPASB). I actually like "y'all", but refuse to use it in the context presented.

      Our work encourages the use of pronouns in e-mails signatures, but does not require them. I have mentally sworn that if required, I will list the term "Lord". If we get to choose our own pronouns, choose a good one.

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