Reflections On Change
Tapping the Power Within
by Adam Abraham
One of the most deceptive things about change is the fact that it is always happening, even when it appears that nothing’s happening at all. If a clock didn’t have a sweep second hand, it would appear motionless most of the time, even though in actuality, it would move 60 times each hour. The other 3,540 seconds that are not indicated by overt movement would still be “passing” nonetheless.
Speaking of unchanging things, the perceived “movement” of the sun across the sky works in much the same way. Every hour… or every 3,600 seconds, the sun’s position in the sky, relative to the earth, changes 15 degrees. In roughly 86,400 seconds, it will appear to have “returned to” the same position in the sky as it took on the previous day. In truth, the sun’s “trip” will have been caused less by its movement (relative to earth), than by the rotation of the earth itself, which occurs at a rate of roughly 1,038 miles per hour, at the equator. Even in the mid latitudes, where the United States and Europe are located, we’re actually spinning at from 700-900 miles per hour. That’s nothing when we consider that the planet itself is moving along through space in its orbit around the sun at a rate of 67,000 miles per hour. The Autobahn and Autostrada have nothing on the Earth Mother when it comes to speed.
Yet, in spite of such constant change, we’re generally oblivious to it.
There have been changes in our social movement too that we tend not to acknowledge. Slavery was outlawed in 1865 with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. This social institution forcibly maintained a race-based “working class,” with no rights or privileges for its members as either U.S. citizens or human beings. Slavery allowed, implied, and relied upon the concept of ownership of one human being by another. Yet, even that was not humane. Though the movements and interactions that brought about the abolition of slavery were sometimes unseen, it is now universally reprehensible as an idea today.
Legions people dream of change. Many people speak of it. Some people risk their lives for it, and some even die for it. Yet, how many of us are willing to live for change? How many of us are willing to be the change that we are sometimes so vehement in calling for?
I respect all people who believe that the changes they see as necessary or beneficial may be beyond their reach. However, I think it’s wise to acknowledge that whether I “do” anything or not, change is happening. And before I will see or experience it in my life, I must know that it begins within me.
Change is something that happens in the way I see things… for example, life, love, fairness, opportunity, and possibility. If I see no positive possibility or opportunity; or if I only focus my attention on the hatred and unfairness that I see; or if my attention is only “tuned” to deficits and gaps that divide people, it doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities, fairness, or kindness. It doesn’t mean that the gaps are overriding in their meaning, or that those who currently “lag” cannot eventually lead. It simply means that such gifts of life are less likely to find their way to me. And if that happens, it will appear to me that nothing has changed, even though so much will have.
As surely as the earth turns on its axis at a dizzying speed without making us dizzy, and travels swiftly through space without causing us whiplash, we have the power to change. We have the power to see life in a new context, and to revel in expanded possibility.
Reparations for the “sins” of someone else’s father’s, father’s father won’t make life one iota better for me. It would only keep me thinking that someone else holds the key to my happiness… and that they are keeping it from me. If someone gave me a lump some of money simply as a guilt dividend, what would I gain? Would I be any better? More importantly, would I see any better?
I don’t think so.
The key to the changes that I seek lie within my own mind, heart, motives, and vision, as the key to the changes that you seek can be found in yours. As we celebrate great men and women who dared to dream when all around them were “asleep” at the wheel of life, let us take a moment to nurture our own wonderful dreams. We would then take the first step to our own next great change.
And not a moment too soon.
Adam Abraham is author of I Am My Body, NOT! and A Freed Man: An Emancipation Proclamation (Phaelos Books), and host and producer of An Equal America. Mr. Abraham can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through his web site, www.phaelos.com.
Copyright © 2004 Adam Abraham. All rights reserved.