Three Views On Change. Which Is Yours?

Meditations in Motion

My husband Bill and I plotted our course for our virtual 5k the night before we ran it.

We wanted to run at a location with little traffic, a place where we would encounter few other people, and on a course that did not begin with a climb up a big hill.

We opted for an out-and-back on a cinder trail starting behind our township building. The trail crosses only two roads, both lightly traveled, in the 1.55 miles before the turn-around, is not frequented by hordes of pedestrians or bikers, and is relatively flat.

We agreed before the run we would run together and run hard, but not at an all-out race pace.

After a brief warm-up, we started our watches and took off.

Within the first half-mile, I was breathing hard. “Hey,” I said, “I thought we were not going to run this fast.

OK,” Bill replied, “We can slow down.,” and we backed off the pace.

As we approached the turn-around our speed once again crept higher and higher.

Too fast,” I gasped.

Sorry!” he replied and once again eased up.

On the way back, we once again sped up. I had trouble keeping up with Bill but at mile 2.5, with the finish line in sight, I got my second wind and hung on, climbing the final incline at a pace that was definitely race pace.

We finished in under 26 minutes.

I glared at my husband.

I got caught up in the race,” he shrugged.

Puzzled by his mindset, I asked “What race?

It’s a race,” he responded, “even if it’s virtual.

He’s right, of course. It was a race. We submitted our times, which were published online, even if all the participants ran at different locations all across the country.

Just one month ago, I could not have imagined myself running a virtual race, but, hey, things change.

Meditations in MotionOne month ago, I believed today I would begin the day in Morocco, then fly to Lisbon, Portugal. Of course, those plans changed weeks ago.

There are three basic mindsets we can use when we consider change, no, make that four. The fourth, of course, is to refuse to acknowledge the need to change, to stubbornly hide when change comes knocking on our door.

That’s not really an option today, although some people are accepting the need to change only grudgingly, digging in their heels, kicking and screaming the whole way.

Meditations in MotionHere are three viewpoints on change, each highlighted with a quote:

  • You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi. Gandhi’s goal was to change the world in a meaningful way. He believed to do this, personal change was needed on a grand scale.

In other words, to achieve peace, you must be peaceful. To receive love, you must be loving.

You can also flip Gandhi’s viewpoint on its head. We can use inevitable life changes (like a global pandemic) to initiate personal growth and change.

We will rise to the occasion when life throws challenges our way.

  • Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi. This Rumi quote acknowledges the personal growth that comes from living life, making mistakes, and learning from our missteps.

When we are young, cleverness is important – a witty joke, catchy slogan, or charismatic leader’s potential impact is large. As we evolve into better versions of ourselves, we value wisdom, especially the wisdom that comes with experience, more than cleverness.

We acknowledge the need to gain an understanding of ourselves and others.

  • When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl. Frankl, an Austrian psychologist and concentration camp survivor, believed that each person suffers in a unique way. We can never completely understand another’s suffering. He believed each challenge we face has meaning, that difficulties give us the opportunity for growth, and, most importantly, that we, as humans, get to choose our response to adversity. That choice gives us a great deal of freedom and a great deal of responsibility.

When faced with disaster we can choose to become better people, sewing masks, donating to our local food banks, calling or texting our neighbors (especially elderly ones) to make sure they are OK, or we can hoard toilet paper and complain about all the personal freedoms we have lost.

Our lives, our challenges, our choice.

 

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137 comments

  1. This is a great post, Laurie! All of these ways of changing seem to boil down to ourselves and how we will respond to the things prompting change. There is so much beyond our control. The thing I can control is my response. Now to help my teens better understand this . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Change is difficult if you have a fast-paced life and can’t self-entertain – it is a time to find the simpler things in life that give you joy. For me, I have a pretty simple life, though my wariness about my simplest joy, walking in nature, has erased that from my agenda, for the time being anyway. Because I can self-entertain (though I’m still waiting to get to the art supplies and books purchased to while away the time over the bad Winter weather that didn’t arrive), I know I can get through this without muddling. But the worry about this virus is ever-present (as is a big storm about ready to hit us – ominous rumbles right now — but I’m trying to follow where it is via Twitter before I shut the computer). My mom used to say thunder rolling was God moving his furniture.

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    • Yes, I think you and I can entertain ourselves without too much trouble, Linda. Maybe that is because of the time we grew up in. we had to make our own fun. There were no screens and devices like the kids have today. We had a thunderstorm last night. I can’t believe Benji slept right through it. He probably doesn’t hear it anymore. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, we could self-entertain and I think we discussed that our parents were avid readers – I know my parents read the newspaper cover-to-cover every night, and books on the weekend, so I read a lot too. As an only child, I had to self-entertain a lot. We had a bad storm last night Laurie – tornadic predictions, but thankfully it did not happen, just a lot of hail and some wind … I was relieved. Benji was likely in dreamland and heard nothing. You stay safe too Laurie.!

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      • My parents were readers too. I guess I learned from them. There were lots of kids in our neighborhood so I had plenty of playmates. We had a storm too and Benji did snooze through the whole thing. I, on the other hand, could not sleep last night, so I got up and wrote a blog post! 🙂

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      • I had playmates too, all around my age, and in the neighborhood, so I was never at a loss what to do to be honest. Good for you writing a blog post if you were awake anyway. I am very far behind here at WordPress and can’t seem to keep up these days. People are writing up a storm, mostly COVID-19 related. I have a few posts in my head and yet to commit them to a post.

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      • I am hearing Easter will be ugly so will do it then Laurie. I want to do a post for Easter first and I went out again today, with more Easter cookies, as I was determined I was going to get some pictures for the post. At least they showed up this morning – I took a lot of shots and hopefully enough came out to use in a post. I will look tomorrow and write the post for Easter. Hoping to provide a few smiles for people.

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  3. How very interesting. I wasn’t sure if you were actually running or was it a game? Very interesting nonetheless . Especially husbands are like that.. say one thing & do another…. they’re like my kids.. hmmm nope they are kids.. just never grew up! hahahaha Stay healthy… stay safe!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I what a great post! All three views have an element of personal responsibility, don’t they? We can react with hand-wringing or we can react with an openness to figure out how God wants to use us, change us, or develop an underdeveloped part of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, so true, Anita. They do all have an element of responsibility. With all the quiet time, we can have more opportunity to listen for God’s voice. I have been reading a lot of stories about kindness during the pandemic.

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  5. I think this is the truth, Laurie —> “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” We are being challenged for sure. Things will never be like they used to be. Thanks for these thoughts on change.

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the challenge is there. Maybe it is a good thing that things will not return to the old “normal”. I’ve been reading lots of stories about kindness during the pandemic. Thank you for hosting!

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  6. Love those quotes and thank you for sharing them and your virtual race story! .
    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week the optional prompt is Share Your Snaps. Hope to see you there. Happy Easter. Stay well. Stay home. Stay safe. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard of and admired Frankl, but have not read him yet. I’ve thought that–that everyone struggles with something. So true and important that what we most need to change is ourselves.

    One struggle I have with changing plans is that, if I seek God as I plan something, and He knows it’s not going to work out, why didn’t He lead me to plan differently? I don’t know. Maybe to teach me flexibility, maybe there was something I learned or did (or was supposed to) that I wouldn’t have otherwise. One undergirding truth that held me steady one year when we faced several major life changes was a line from the hymn “Be Still My Soul”: “In every change, He faithful will remain.”

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    • Oh, yes – what we need to change most is ourselves! It is hard to know what God’s plans for us are. The line from the hymn is a great one to remember during times of stressful change!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What an important thing to think about in this situation where we find ourselves! I think I tend to be most like the first quote. I can definitely see these three approaches in how people around me are responding to the change created by the pandemic.

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