The Yearning for Change – Heartfelt or Hollow?

“My life is my message.” Gandhi.

That’s one of the quotes you will find at #ChangeTheWorldIn5Words. Here’s another: “Build bridge; get over it.”

Some of the five-word sayings are mean. Some are silly – “Let’s just all eat pizza.” Or political – “Remove corporate influence from politics.” Some are related to hot issues of our time – “Open carry is Pandora’s Box”. Some have biblical overtones: “Don’t judge with eyes only.” And some are deeply personal – “I will always love you.”

Each in their own way – even the silly ones – have world-changing potential, perhaps not all for the best. One thing is clear: no matter where you turn, people long for change. The irony, of course, is that we often think that the best change would be to go back to how things used to be; and just as often we are unwilling to alter the circumstances around or within us, clinging to them for all we are worth, all the while clamoring for the need for change.

A recent broadcast of On Point titled Exercising the Aging Brain talks about what the human brain wants and what it needs. It was long believed that the brain stopped growing and neural connections were established early in life. Recent research has taught us the brain continues to grow and new neural connections are made throughout our life … unless we stop giving such growth the possibility of happening. Our brains, like our bodies, have a lazy side to them. Cognitive neuroscientist Sandra Bond Chapman says healthy brains require life-long, child-like inquisitiveness. Children are quick thinkers because they have not yet reached a cognitive status quo. Why is a question we should never stop asking! Staying mentally healthy requires a willingness to always be on the make for a new way of doing or seeing the same old thing.

The long and short of it is that we tend to develop a mental aversion to the very thing required for mental acuity – change.

We started with Gandhi; let’s conclude with him. It’s a bit more than five words, but it is as inspiring as it is succinct: Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

No … Let’s conclude with Jesus: Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old. (Matthew 13:52.) The universal yearning for change is not a cry to throw out every tradition; it is the acknowledgement that traditions are foundations, not rooftops. Start the day open to change, willing to be an agent of change, or at least be willing not to be an obstruction when something new is wanting to be tried!

What we claim to yearn for rings hollow if we aren’t willing to put our mind, body and spirit where we say our hearts are.







Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.