Monday, January 19, 2009

Change You Need

Obama is moments away from taking office. Already there are naysayers criticizing his lofty promises or accusing him of being an extension of the crooked politics that abound in Illinois. Even many who voted for him and currently support him are somewhat sceptical about his immediate ability to attack all the the problems his administration will inherit.

Regardless of how you feel about the new President, there is something to be said about his promise for change and the bold willingness he has to lead the United States. Considering the great social strides that have been made between the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. and the historical magnificence of what is to occur tomorrow, there is amazing hope and possibility in change.

But what about personal change? Perhaps circumstances in your life are troubling or even overwhelming to you. I have seen a lot of people who have had difficulty finding work or finding work that is enough to provide sustenance for their families. I have worked with those that hate their jobs, but still continue to stay in them. The first thing I try to remind these people (as I sometimes must remind myself) is that although our efforts to improve our lives or solve our problems are not always met with success, real change and improvement are only possible with effort. Complacency and denial are far worse enemies than the problems we face themselves, because there is little hope that the problems will go away if they are never faced.

To make this point while also acknowledging the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and the pending inaugural history, I quote the great writer, James Baldwin, who wrote powerfully for the social change that he believed in an age of institutionalized racism and segregation:

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."

Now, being the time of the new year and the time of a new executive administration is a good time to reflect on the changes you would like in your own life. Be bold and face the areas in your life that need to be changed. Courageously face areas that need to be improved. Face the things you would like to change today, and hopefully the result you will have is being able to face a better tomorrow.

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