Everyone is Capable of Change – May 27 2019

Everyone is Capable of Change – May 27 2019

Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change 

To something new, to something strange;

Nothing that is can pause or stay; 

The moon will wax, the moon will wane,

The mist and cloud will turn to rain,

The rain to mist and cloud again,

Tomorrow be today.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Keramos

It is a given that people can be jerks. All of us, at one time or another, find ourselves behaving toward each other in ways that are less than sweet. Ideally, we take responsibility, make apologies, make amends, forgive each other and move on.

When someone has wronged us and will not (or cannot) take responsibility, then it’s our responsibility to keep our distance. They are saying, in effect, ‘I’m not safe for you to be around.’ Take them at their word. Stay out of their way.

But if we must be around that person–because of work or family–then we protect ourselves. We try to stay out of harm’s way, out of this person’s event horizon, or at least far enough out of range that they won’t have a clear shot. Again, this person has shown him or herself to be not trustworthy, so it becomes our own responsibility to stay out of the way so as not to be hurt again. We do not want to pretend it will be different this time if there has been no indication they’ve changed. 

BUT–and this is where the Vedic world view gives us something other than most philosophies–we must never discount anyone’s capacity for evolution, their capability to change. Not that they have changed, from one moment to the next, but that they can change and that eventually, in this life or some other, they will change. They will grow.

Like me, like you, this person is an expression of nature, and evolution is all that nature knows. Regardless of how we may wish to stand still, we cannot. We will never cease growing. We can force stagnation for a period, but that which is against life, against flow, will be removed by nature eventually because it is not serving the whole. It is not serving nature. As expressions of nature we know this, deep down inside. We feel the need to continue to grow. And though we may resist, we will, all of us, move forward. It may be in this life, or it may take another or a few hundred others, but nature will have its way. Nature will evolve through us, as us. And all of us, the wholeness that is us, will know ourselves as the perfection that we are. Nature will win out. God will do what God does, which is to uplift and inspire each part of Itself until wholeness is achieved.

So we keep our distance, but we don’t make it their problem. We don’t hold it against them. They are doing what they do, and we stop being upset that an orange tree keeps giving us oranges. We stop expecting a fruit of a different color. When we think of this person, rather than resenting them for the way they are, we simply remind ourselves of these basic truths, with something like:

This person is a child of God/an expression of nature/my brother/my sister, and as such is worthy of love, rather than condemnation. He or she is evolving, and who am I to decide they should be doing it more quickly? In my thinking about this person, I will insist on putting my attention on his or her potential for change, rather than his or her potential for destruction, and what I put my attention on will grow.

Grand Central Station, New York, NY