Make a Change
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Here’s to a Brighter Future
One reason people struggle to make the changes in themselves is because they are often caught in their own memories. I like to reflect on memories because they can be wonderful things, but so often we aren’t reflecting on our successes — we’re dwelling on our failures. When we live in the past, we use that as an excuse for why we can’t change. As human beings, we tend to create stories about what happened to us in the past. These stories aren’t always true, but they’re what we tell ourselves. And if anyone will sit still long enough, it’s the story we’ll tell them over and over again. When we hold onto these stories for too long, they don’t just become the story of our past — they dictate the story of our future. If you have your past always in your mind, then it’s an obstacle blocking your future. But the past is only in the way because you put it there. If you can let go of the past, you can change yourself and change your future. This isn’t to say we should forget everything that ever happened to us, good or bad. Rather, we must learn to accept the past without giving it the power to define us. The business I’m in is all about remission. We’re looking at forgiving debts. This is the time when you can let go of the past and focus on the future. It would be unwise for someone to forget the mistakes that led them to bankruptcy; they’ll only end up repeating them. But when they get out of debt, they shouldn’t punish themselves for those mistakes or live in fear of them. They can move forward, change, and grow. The world is what we make it. Yes, there are some bad things, but when you make the change to be a better version of yourself, you can see a better version of the world, too.
“We cannot control what the rest of the world does. We can only control ourselves.”
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
This is a quote I’m very fond of. Though it’s usually attributed to Gandhi, there’s no documentation to prove he actually said these words. However, the popular quote sounds like an alteration of something Gandhi did once say: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” Gandhi’s real quote wouldn’t fit on a bumper sticker, but it does better capture why the quote speaks to me. The only thing you can really change is yourself. And when you make that change, it creates change in your whole world. For better or worse, the way the world responds to you changes. There are a lot of people who complain about how terrible the world is, but the reality is that if we want anything to change, we must first be willing to change ourselves.
Do you want to make the world a kinder place? Be kind.
Do you want people to be more honest? Be honest.
Do you want the world to be peaceful? Practice peace.
We cannot control what the rest of the world does. We can only control ourselves. But it seems like many of us underestimate the control we have.
–Walter E. “Pete” Moak
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