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Change is the most natural thing in the world. And yet it is the one thing that we resist with the most passion, the most desperation. In this article we take a look at how we can cope with change, and how we can mould ourselves to be ready for it whenever it happens.
Change is the only constant, they say. Much of human life is spent grappling this concept of change, whereas our minds resist this fundamental trait of nature, taking comfort in being what it is, and wishing things would remain the same. He who realises that change is normal and to be welcomed, and he who accepts and internalises this fact, will take giant strides toward achieving peace and contentment.
Many great people in history have said wise things about change. Today we have for you a collection, from varied sources.
On the importance of looking inward
Many of us want to change the world. But often we don’t realise that the world as we understand it is nothing more than a set of prejudices and opinions we’ve formed in our heads. Seen this way, the best way to change the world is to change ourselves the way we want the world to be. In this context, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi probably said the most famous lines related to change. He said, ‘Be the change you wish you see in the world.’
Long before him, Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet, pitched in with these words: ‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’
On accepting change within oneself
We change without realising it. Our attitudes, our opinions, our views, and even our personalities change, without asking our permission. We only know that we have changed after the fact, and this can often throw us off balance. The trick, then, is to expect change to occur and be calm in the face of it. Here is a quote by celebrated author Stephen King on this furtive quality of internal change.
No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.’
On being a bit crazy
While it is true that the vast majority of us cannot change the world in a meaningful way, we can change one or two lives that touch us deeply, and if all of us do that, big change will occur. Also, it is important to believe that we can change the world, because all change happens in the hands of those that do.
Apple Inc’s mission statement reflects this message.
‘Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’
On taking responsibility
Sometimes we’re tempted to blame everyone but ourselves for the things that happen to us. Change can more easily occur if we’re a bit more ruthless with ourselves. In the words of actress Katherine Hepburn, ‘We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.’

Harshit Sinha

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