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.

 

You can find the places I link up here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

137 comments

  1. Totally, everything is our choice. I’m already fielding backlash (in conversation and unspoken innuendos) because I’m not in a panic over the current situation. Honestly, I’m not passing judgement on those who are panicking, but it’s unfair to expect everyone to be reacting (or responding) in the same way to this (or any other life experience). Your posts are so awesome, Laurie…really thought-provoking. Thank you!! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think people become judgemental when they are insecure and lots of people are insecure right now due to the virus. You are wise to not panic. Thank you so much for your comment, Kim! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes to everything you said! We can always choose our response. Thank you for this timely reminder.
    Fortunately, there are many people who are stepping up and focusing on helping others. I hope they outnumber the toilet paper hoarders. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Then there is the not-so-satisfying explanation that we are bags of wet chemicals with no choice in behavior or thinking or anything. Just thought I’d throw that in the even the field a bit. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A month ago I could not have imagined doing a virtual race. Now, I think they are fun and something different and challenging to do. People are imaginative in challenging situations, aren’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are definitely very challenging times but I think the key is having the ability to adapt. I’m trying to be thankful for my job and still adapting to working from home. It hasn’t been easy but I know that I’ll get used to it!

    I like that there are so many challenges and virtual races to help us stay accountable and motivated during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am trying to cultivate gratitude too. It has been successful sometimes and not-so successful at others. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I am liking the virtual races. A month ago I would not have considered them.

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  5. Great job on the virtual race! Lovely to have a partner who runs and pushes you too 🙂

    Sorry about your cancelled trip, it sounds like it would have been an amazing one. I would love to visit Portugal!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha ha I didn’t believe that I would ever run a virtual race either. Now that I’ve done two of them I wonder why I didn’t try it before. I love being my own race director and picking my own course.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes Laurie, we are each in our own virtual races in life aren’t we!
    I’m with Victor Frankl & your following statement;
    “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.”
    We always have that choice! 😉
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was just thinking earlier today about how this year is such a huge year for change and how much I dislike change! Lol! I want to have the same kind of attitude as these inspirational influencers. I love Rumi’s the most. I think I like it so much because it’s how I felt when I was young and now work to change myself first and foremost. After all, that’s the best way to change the world! Thanks for this encouraging post, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Rumi’s quote too. It shows how we grow and change and hopefully become wiser with age. This year has certainly been one of change, hasn’t it?

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  9. I’m loving the creativity that’s about at the moment, the way people are responding. Of course, there are others who are resisting and refusing to adapt and still more who are complaining (loudly). I’m of the “okay it’s happening, let’s accept, adapt and change it up a tad” mindset.

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  10. Fabulous run time Laurie! I understand the idea of it still being competitive despite it being a virtual run. Great quotes about how we can accept, or not, change. At the moment we have very little control over some things but it’s not all bad some of the time. Take care. #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the creativity everyone is discovering in this time and a virtual race is a wonderful example. I loved this post and the quotes – each one is a gem! Just this week, I said to my son that this crisis will bring out the best in people and the worst. Praying for mostly the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Our choices make all the difference in how we look at our life and circumstances. In this time of quarantine, I’m choosing to trust in God, stay calm and hopeful, and simply enjoy each and every moment.
    Wonderful post, Laurie! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s a great 5k pace!! Nice, job!! The virtual race sounds very interesting. I like all the quotes you shared. Each one fits depending upon our individual situations and our choices/decisions as to how we respond. Do you think that if we had a definitive ‘end to this’ projection provided by the powers that be that people would do better with our current situations or would we still have the good and bad that we’re seeing? Thanks for the thought-provoking post! Take care and stay safe and keep running!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I disagree with Judy. And we usually do which is totally cool.

    You can run a virtual by yourself.

    Running is about your own goals.

    That being said, a race goal can be to do the distance or run a PR.

    I can’t run that fast even if I was chased.

    And lately I am just racing virtually for fun. By myself. Don’t ever wear a watch.

    Change is what we make of it. There is good about keeping things the same such as being active and eating healthy.

    But we can take advantage of the situation and do some different things rather than complain.

    I am going to different trails even if it is a drive because they are peaceful and not crowded. It’s easier to just stay safe in my neighborhood but when I go back to work, I will have less time. So Carpe diem

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the thing with virtual races (for me) is the lack of real-time competition and excitement. I can’t just race against a time. I don’t ever look at my watch during a race either. I run completely by feel. I don’t want the stress of worrying about my time.

      I just wrote a post today about a new trail adventure my hubby and I had today. Carpe Diem! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m good at adapting so while I might not prefer to deal with whatever change is foisted on me by circumstances beyond my control, I do my best to go with the flow, be a problem solver, just get on with things. I will admit that I’ve had it with the whiners right about now. I keep thinking to myself, “suck it up, buttercup” and get over yourself. If you are sick, however, I’ll listen to you complain so you’ll feel heard. That’s where my energy and empathy goes right about now.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” I’ve never read this quote before, but it sums me up in a nutshell. What makes it tricky is my children are clever and therefore see me as complacent. I want to live an example for them, but they are only looking for action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you found a quote you could identify with, Jeff. I do too. I never thought about the “kids” aspect of the whole equation. My kids are a little bit (a lot) older. They are less impressed with clever now than when they were teenagers.

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  17. You are so right.

    I live in an area that is used to disaster (hurricanes). Storms bring out the best and worst in people, and this is doing the same. The big difference I am seeing (and the one that is weighing most heavily on me) is that during the aftermath of a hurricane, we can HELP. We can go to people’s houses and clean up debris. We can set up our grill in the driveway and make dinner for our neighbors. We can gather supplies and volunteer and give hugs and support. Now? We all have to hide away from each other and we can’t offer those avenues of support.

    As with everything, we will overcome. Today is hard for me. Tomorrow will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very true – we always have a choice on how we react to situations. The virtual run format is pretty nifty! Although I’m sure it’s not quite the same as an actual in-person race, it’s a creative workaround for the present situation!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A virtual race, I like that. And I was going to say I liked Gandhi’s quote, but then I read Rumi’s. That second one was a great quote – full with meaning!
    Stay safe – you could go places still – a book, an online tour, through your imagination. They all work, believe me.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. To me, the pandemic has shown that the people of the world have to come together. We have to share with each other, we have to protect each other or mother nature will take care of us all. I’m afraid there will be people who feel the opposite way and you can’t change them. It will be a struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Nailed me on ‘valuing cleverness versus wisdom’. I hope that has changed with age, but find myself falling back into the old habit occasionally. It’s not very appealing now. I’m still waiting for the right virtual run to come along, perhaps one tied to a cause I like to support. I did a virtual half-marathon a couple years back and really enjoyed seeing the pictures and routes that others posted.

    Good quotes on change. So right about the flip side of the Gandhi quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Laurie, It is wonderful how both you and your husband enjoy running. You have likely heard this before.

    You also may have heard before how the only constant is change. My husband and I both worked in fields where there was constant change. We had to learn to adapt quickly and welcome the change. I found it interesting how we also worked with a large range of age groups. Yet, it seemed to be a certain personality or mindset that constantly fought change. It was not age-related. Your quotes are wonderful and very appropriate. Congratulations on your race! Take care and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I don’t know if the virtual race I did last week is really a virtual race. I mean it was nothing different since I still ran alone and at whatever pace I wanted to. I guess that is the reason I don’t really do them because to me they’re nothing different than what I am already doing. Great job on yours! Nice you had someone to push you. I’ve only heard of the first quote and not the others. I do like them all. I think I mentioned this but I also had to cancel my trip to Mexico. We’re hoping we can go in the summer or whenever the situation is better.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Laurie,
    Wow! Lots of comments on change. This pandemic has been a cement wall that so many of us have run smack into. It’s forced us to adapt in some way. Some want to dig their collective heels in and refuse to budge. Normally I run kicking and screaming from change, but by God’s grace, I’ve been able to change myself and my outlook. I’ve been trying to look at the blessings in the mess like being able to have delightful lunches on our porch with my husband now working from home. The weather in NC has been beautiful and we’ve enjoyed many a dog walk – seeing neighbors we haven’t seen in years. My eyes have been turned back to the Lord and my heart has panted for the quenching of His word. Love the idea of virtual races!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Running into a cement wall is a great visual image, Bev. I agree completely. It’s almost easier to accept change now because everyone is in the same boat and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it! We have been walking the dog a lot too. He is an old guy and looks at us as if to say, “Again?” 🙂 Blessings to you!

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  25. Wow, this post struck a chord with many of us. I have been working on my response, my attitude because it is the thing I can most control. I saw a virtual race in my area. Didn’t sign up but I did reboot my Nike run app and started tracking again.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love all three of the quotes. We always have a choice, to deal with what is handed to us or complain. For everything, there is a reason and we will come out of this better. Bravo for doing the virtual race!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I think we have a choice as to how to respond and what we may learn. But I can see that I adopt all three stances depending on the situation or event. Maybe even fluctuate between 2 for the same event. Very interesting. I will be thinking of these for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How we respond is sometimes the only thing we have control over. I hope I can use this crisis as an opportunity to learn. Thank you, Theresa!

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  28. Laurie, I think I most identify with Frankl’s quote right now. This whole situation has highlighted some parts of me that I’ve finally decided to address. One step, day, moment at a time, of course. But that’s how you did your virtual 5(k), right? (Good for you, by the way … 26 minutes is fast for a 5(k), isn’t it?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way, Lois. I liked Frankl’s quote best too. That IS how I did my virtual 5k. You have a lot going on right now with the anniversary of your parents’ deaths and the coronavirus crisis affecting our daily lives. I’m thinking about you! 🙂 And 26 minutes is OK for a 5k!

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