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Go Chase Your Rainbow
Life is all About Change
Change is an integral aspect of living so to live is to change and to accept change in the people and the situations which form part of our lives. We all, therefore, change over time; no one remains the same person all the time. We change in response to the situations in which we are placed, the people with whom we interact, the experiences which we undergo and also, naturally, we change as we age. Changes in our life circumstances may trigger different changes in our attitudes which are then manifested in our behaviour.
Changes in Circumstances/Situations
Positive behavior changes are usually a manifestation of favorable changes in circumstances. Positive changes in one’s life situation such as increases in wealth, improved health, better working conditions etc are some factors which can inspire positive changes in behavior although this may, quite often, not be the case. The fact is that human nature is such that improved circumstances, rather than resulting in corresponding improvements in attitude and behavior, may sometimes produce self centeredness and lack of humility. These are not positive responses to change.
Alternatively traumatic, unpredictable or unfair changes in one’s circumstances have the propensity to trigger negative or undesirable behaviors such as withdrawal, cruelty, and selfish ambition.
We must therefore be on guard to avoid being victims of our changed circumstances. That is we must, on no account, allow changes in our circumstances to dictate our attitude and behavior or to affect our personalities adversely. However, if our circumstances change favorably we should try to harness all the possible positive outcomes to be derived from this change and let them dictate our future behavior.
Changes in Attitude and Behavior
Attitude influences behaviour and therefore changes in our attitudes are reflected in our behaviour.
Change in behaviour is one aspect of change which is, to a great extent, within our control. While it is apparently extremely easy to see the negative attitudes in others and to recommend behaviour changes for them, it is not always as easy to discern our own flaws and to identify the changes that are needed in ourselves. Nonetheless, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to look deep within ourselves, to monitor our circumstances so as to determine what changes in behaviour are necessary to help us move in the right direction.
Positive changes in behaviour may be prompted by positive behaviour in persons with whom we interact. That is to say, people can be impelled to discard their negative behaviour patterns in response to repeated kindness, generosity, encouragement, pleasantness and the like from others around them. It’s like the ‘because he first loved me’ behaviour; others are constantly being generous in their attitude towards you so you gradually take a cue from them and begin to shed some of your own self-centeredness. You start moving in the direction to being a better person. Now the reverse applies as well; if we change our attitude those around us may reciprocate with corresponding positive change. Imagine, therefore, the ripple effect that can be achieved if each person who receives kindness from someone responds by acting kindly toward others as well. The world could benefit from tsunamis of generosity and kindness! Would n’t that be great?
Adaptation is Key
No situation is ever so perfect that it cannot improve. Take for instance, a relationship or even a marriage. It is sometimes said that two people were made for each other. Nonetheless, no matter how compatible a couple might be, it will be necessary for them to make adjustments to their personalities and behaviour in order to be more accommodating towards each other and accepting of each other’s foibles. For example, a simple matter like keeping a light on or turning all the lights off at night may require some degree of compromise if one party is unable to sleep in the dark while the other is unable to fall asleep with the lights on. One or perhaps both parties will have to make some changes in order that they both sleep at night.
When two people care about each other deeply this is not too difficult for they are willing to make adjustments that will enhance the quality of their relationship. Likes, dislikes, attitudes and behaviours will be modified to please each other and to improve the relationship. The more love, understanding and commitment which are poured into the relationship, the easier the changes become and, likewise, the closer the bond between the couple will become.
As a situation can change for the better so also it can degenerate and just as it is within our power to build upon that which is already good, so also it is within our power to undergo negative changes with dignity and to tackle them with perseverance and prayer. To surrender to negative change should never be an option.
On the contrary, when things turn sour, we need to take refuge in our dignity and pride and above all we need to turn to the Lord for direction.We need to walk tall and proud and work towards taking a new direction which would set us back on course and point the way forward. And when the road appears to be difficult and unending we need to persevere!
It is said that nothing good comes easily, thus we should not give up if that towards which we are striving is something good. What a terrible thing it would be if we were to give up just at the point when success was at hand! There is comfort in the saying that behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining so just hang in there and try with all your might to get a glimpse of that silver lining.
Change is a Must!
Change must happen and we need to develop strategies which will enable us to adapt to new circumstances or to relate to new people.Certainly, adaptation strategies can be borrowed from others who have had similar experiences, but it is also important for every person to develop his/her own strategies to suit his/her particular circumstances.
Finally, if we agree that changes in circumstances usually trigger corresponding changes in behavior,then we need to guard against responding negatively to change.However, it is a fact that for anyone who does not experience change life becomes mundane and stagnant and most likely unfulfilling. Indeed, to live is to change and to change is to live!
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