In the past, I have written several articles that talk about some of the various issues that face us, but I’ve yet to touch on what is in my opinion the most important one. It’s easy to ignore it compared to anything else because this change is arguably the hardest one to make. Ourselves.
We talk about change all the time. Changes we want to see in society, changes we want to see in government, changes we want to see in our communities, but none want to talk about the one that really matters. Demanding perfection to upholding a set of ideas is a lofty goal, but ultimately unrealistic. We can only strive in our endeavors at the end of the day and there’s a reason I say this.
Making changes to ourselves and in our very own lives is the most difficult to make. Humans, as a whole, are just stubborn and we like things that are familiar – creatures of habit, if you will. This makes necessary changes in our own personal lives very difficult, especially when compounded with time as the years pass on. Despite what some may say, we all (to one degree or another) look back and feel regret. That is ultimately the power of hindsight.
It’s said a good person learns from their mistakes and a smart person learns from the mistakes of others. Some men’s lives serve only as a warning to others. Admitting fault is extremely difficult for a lot of people, since no one likes to be wrong. If we cannot admit fault within ourselves, how can we begin to make the changes needed to make things better? Ultimately, there is one thing you have control over that no one can take from you and that is control of yourself. You decide how you react to things, what you do and don’t do.
There may be hundreds of people who look at your life and say to themselves, “This is what I want to be.” In that contentment, it is very easy to get stuck. Always you should strive to be better, not clone your life to mimic someone else. Look to good examples and learn caution from bad ones, but you must always be your own man.
You must always make a practice to conduct an inventory (or self-assessment) of your life. This requires us to admit when and where we may be failing, succeeding or need improvement. The hardest part is admitting something may be wrong. Once that is done, then you can begin to make change. When change is done on the personal level, you can then begin to make changes in your community. No one is going to follow a broken or unsuccessful man. Change yourself, change your community.
Only by striving to be the best versions of ourselves, can we create positive change that is necessary to reclaim what was lost and retake everything. This requires us to exercise both our minds and our bodies. Set goals for yourself, put a timeline on it. By divesting ourselves from our vices, do we become closer to God and closer to each other. Purity of body and spirit is earned in the same manner a warrior earns his skills, through hard work.
Life is hard. All of us have struggles and skeletons buried in our closets, but such things must not be an opposing force to the future we desire to see. Turn your demons into strengths. Iron sharpens iron. Victory is reserved for the bold. Embrace your heritage and one day you too may have others who look back on your past accomplishments with the same reverence you right now hold for others of a time now gone.
Start now and realize that it’s never too late to make changes.
Take care and God bless.
When Otto isn’t turning wrenches, you can hear the sound of him griping to himself about the state of the modern world echoing off the pine and oak trees that he emerges on occasion to harass carpetbaggers and Yankees.