Be the Change You Wish to See

December 24, 2020
Gillian Beck

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Class of 2021

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Change—a never-ending challenge we must learn to conquer, and more than anything, learn to live with. A life without change is a life misspent. If one does not recognize the need to evolve and reconstruct, they will never live their life to its fullest potential. Change is a part of who we are as human beings, whether we choose to embrace change or not, it still occurs and must be dealt with accordingly. Change can be a scary concept to understand, however, it is when we best learn to deal with change, that we can fully accept this normal aspect of life.

But, how do we learn to cope with change? Especially in the world that we are living in right now, how is it that we just learn to accept all of these new ways of life that we do not necessarily want to be living? The thing you have to understand about change is that we do not always get to choose when we are ready for it, sometimes we just have to embrace that it is time, and we must accept that we have to move on. Other times, however, we have to be the ones to spearhead change, whether in our personal lives or elsewhere.

So, how do we deal with both aspects of change in our lives; both the changes we cannot control and the changes we must control? Quite truthfully, none of us have all the answers, and as a young, naive seventeen-year-old, I do not have all the answers either. But, like anything in life, we can only share our knowledge from experience and hope that that is enough to influence and impact those around us.

In my short seventeen years of life, I have stumbled upon many obstacles in which I have had to take a step back and reevaluate my situation. So, how have I done this? Well, quite simply put, the easiest way to adapt to change is to accept it. Accept the situation that is your new reality, and learn to appreciate and see the beauty within it. It is not until you are able to truly understand something, whether it be a person or a situation, that you can truly see why what is occurring is best for you. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and mandatory change is just a part of this. What feels like it might be the end of the world, may end up being the best thing that has ever happened to you. Thus, you must learn to accept change, or at least approach it with a positive mindset because you never know what beauty might come from what you believe to be a cloud of pain.

Yes, we could sit in our bedrooms dreading the world we are currently living in. We could scowl at those whom we feel are responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak, and we could shun our governments for handling the situation poorly, but that would not change the situation we are currently living in. Instead, we must see the world for what it is, a place full of imperfections, a disaster in disguise, but more than anything a gem in the midst of a wasteland. The world can be a miserable, cruel place, no one is denying that; however, it is up to you to see the wonder amidst the negativity and to place a positive spin on the situation. When you are able to see the world from this perspective, the hate and resentment you have towards it will slowly start to fade. As a young, naive seventeen-year-old, I know I do not know much, but what I do know is that when you choose to see the light in even the darkest of situations, your life will become ever so slightly happier.

Furthermore, making your own change can seem like an astronomical feat. There are various reasons why one may need to make a change, including the need to make a change in your own life, and the need to be the change you wish to see in the world. The two are extremely different concepts, however, neither is more important than the other. As stated previously, the world can be a wicked place and can push the most unfortunate situations on the least deserving individuals. However, there are some situations in which we cannot escape without implementing changes in our lives. As I said before, I believe everything happens for a reason, but I do not believe that everything that happens to us must continue to happen. I believe that sometimes, as hard as it may be, people have to use everything they have within them in order to pull themselves into a better place. I do not think there is one person on Earth who is incapable of creating the change they wish to see, whether in their own lives or in society as a whole. Especially as Alephs and B’nai Brith Girls, we are change-makers, we are the individuals who are most capable of making a difference in our lives, as well as others' lives. We are the groundbreakers, the earth-shakers, and the life changers. There is nothing we cannot do if we truly put our minds to it. I am beyond certain that any misfortunes an Aleph or BBG is dealing with are not nearly as powerful compared to the power these individuals hold to overcome it. Like any fear in life, we are capable of conquering and defeating it.

Now, it is one thing to say we are capable of anything, but a completely different thing to truly execute these capabilities. So, how do we make the change, and where do we even start? If it is a change you need to make in your own life, there truly is no better time to start than now! What are you waiting for? A sign? Someone to tell you to start? Well, unfortunately, most of the change we have to make is not spearheaded by someone else. We must take full control and be the change. I know change can be frightening, but believe me, it is not going to be less frightening next week than it is today, so waiting to make the change will only cause you more harm than good! A good friend once told me it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit. Twenty-one days of consistency, grit, perseverance, and possibly a little bit of pain. But, I can promise to you in the end, the life-long benefits of the change you are making will be worth far more than the twenty-one difficult days. So, do not wait, start your change now. The sooner you begin, the sooner you will be able to make the world a better place. If we are all the best versions of ourselves, there is no denying the incredible things we will be able to do. Change may be scary, but nothing is scarier than wasted potential.

Gillian Beck is a BBG from L'chaim BBG #2444 in Lake Ontario Region Canada who loves animals.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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