‘Change’ is a word that is found on the lips of many people. We want change in institutions, structures, working conditions, education system, and the list goes on and on. But yet change is something that is very hard to bring about. Have you noticed that every year in the season of Lent we make resolutions to change but yet after the season is gone, it is probably all back to as it was before. Why is it that it is so easy for us to demand change in others but yet we are unable to change ourselves and even sometimes resist change. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and how rightly so. It is so easy to demand change of others but it is a mountainous task to change oneself. But why is this so?
No matter what age we are, we find it hard to change but it is true that the older we get, the harder it is to change. Many of us are accustomed to do things in a certain way and we also expect others to act in a certain manner. Since we are ‘creatures of habit’ it is sometimes useful to engage with the tried and tested methods and some would say, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’. But then again, life is always about adaptation and transformation. If we do not adapt to the new situations and find a way to change, then we can quite easily become stagnated.
Over a period of more than two thousand years, the Church has been always reforming itself. As it is said in Latin, Ecclesia semper reformanda est (the church is always to be reformed), the Church is always on a journey and where we are today is a result of introspection, discernment and renewal. However it must be remembered that the renewal is always to help the Church move forward and make it more relevant to the ‘new world’ that we engage with everyday of our lives. There are those who would like to take us back to the past but times and seasons have changed and the past has to be seen in the light of the future. It is always soothing to sit around and reminisce about the past but the future lies in the hands of those who want to bring about a change given the new circumstances that we are confronted with.
Though change may bring with it uncertainties and anxieties, we must never be afraid to embrace change and at times to make that leap of faith.In the gospels, we read how on several occasions the disciples of Jesus were afraid but He assured them to ‘be not afraid’. In a similar way, if we wish to see change, let us not be afraid to change ourselves even if it means being ridiculed by our friends. If everyone can make a little change for the betterment of the self, family and society, our world becomes a better place to live in. But if we are selfish and only expect others to change, then nothing happens. We can keep wishing for change, change will not come.
Sometimes, we do not have to wait for things to be broken in order to fix it; but fixing it before it gets broken has a value in itself. It can only make us better and in that process the people around us become better. So go out, be the change and make a difference. Even if it is not broken, sometimes it is better to fix it!