“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
In today’s world, adopting a personal practice that actualizes Viktor Frankl’s wise words could be misconstrued as apathy. They are not. If, after working toward changing a situation (personal or otherwise) we are unsuccessful, it is always a good idea to take a step back and look to ourselves for answers and/or solutions.
Asking ourselves, “What is it that worries, angers, offends, or saddens me?” is only the beginning of the process. We must also ask ourselves: “If I cannot change what it is that I have identified, can I change how I act or react to it?” And, the answers we get to this second question are where we usually find ourselves challenged.
Why? Because, it is not easy to see or understand that what we do on a personal or micro level—like drops of water falling into an empty bucket—has as the potential to add up over time. The result? We find ourselves with the equivalent of a bucket filled with life-saving water: the ability to change things on a large scale or macro level. And, our next step is to take the time to honestly look inward and ask ourselves whether we need to change our intentions, the way we think (our perspective), our actions, or all of the above. It is then that we are ready to actualize change in ourselves and in our world. We are the change. With each thought, word, and deed, we are the change we want to see in our world.
~~Dr. Nancy Tarr Hart
First appeared in Empowering YOU, Transforming Lives, compiled by Rebecca Hall Gruyter