there is this idea out there that change is not possible. some might call this a lie and some might just label it apathy. the sad part about this idea is that people find it to be true and they live their lives as if they can not do anything about it. I often hear the phrase, “they are just stuck in their ways” or “they are who they are”. I have been able to observe when these comments are made and they often come in the midst or near the end of a conflict. the person’s back is up against the wall and they are not sure what to do because there seems to be a dead lock between the two people. the worst way that I hear these types of phrases used is when a conflict has gone on so long that the conflict is just a normal way of life and the idea of change is like a dream.
as somebody that study’s conflict, I find this idea to be so damaging. I say damaging because essentially each person is asking for compromise and that is what the relationship is built off of and so you have two people that give 50 percent or however much of themselves so that the conflict can be resolved. this resolution is not so much of a resolution, but a way to digress the situation. this is where we get terms like sweeping things under the rug and let it go. these can tend to do more harm than good because essentially what happens is one of two things. either one person is left feeling like they did not get enough or a person is left feeling like they did not receive enough. each side if held in their stance without compassion is left to the strength of their own stability of what they believe to be true. this is why politics and religion are so divisive and cunning. granted there are things that can change and things that can not change, but humans are not one of them. humans are a transformative being.
if we refuse to love then we will not change and if we ask for change without love then there will be pain. asking somebody to change is like trying to shove a quarter in the penny slot. you want a large return, but you are putting it where there is not much power to produce the change. this is what they formally call forcing it. this essentially leads to if you do not do what I want you to do then I will stop doing my part. the most popular form of this is done through guilt and manipulation and it says if you love me you would do it for me, whatever the action may be. this may work for a young child because a parent wants to prove their love to their child, but it does not work for much more than that. this is why every nonviolent protest has come out with more positive outcomes than forceful and violent actions. this is why asking your significant other for change does not work. It turns the human in to an object for your pleasure and benefit instead of somebody to love and value. this is what I would say is at the core of Jesus saying to love your neighbor as yourself.
Stepping into change
we have made sacrifice and courage to be macho manifestations, but what we really need is humility to ask how can I love you better. the sacrifice and courage , still makes the central point on the action instead of the person. if you look at either of the two famous musicians talking about change, whether it be Sam Cooke or Tupac, both will tell you that change is coming, but it starts with ourselves. we have the most power to change ourselves and no other people, so not only outwardly ask others how can I love you better, but inwardly ask yourself how can I love better. Change will come, I promise and it will not be because of somebody doing something differently to appease, but it will be because of love.
this is heavy and much of it sounding critical and negative. , but it does not have to be that way.
we can not love others if we are love them the way we think they should be love, but real love happens when we can put ourselves aside and say how can I serve you and what ways are you loved
so when people say no they won’t change in that apathetic voice, or they are who they are, reply to them that it is not true, change is possible.
tell me in the comments how have you seen change happen?