Progress Is A Nice Word. But Change Is Its Motivator. And Change Has Its Enemies

c1b423c22e8c8a9a59a5145cae5aa4f9We now live in a society where rules have been thrown out the window. Where the idea of
a sane leader has been replaced by a hyperbole on top of a massive form of personification. We believe what we hear yet refuse to discover whether it is true or not. Why is that? Why are we afraid to uncover if something we’ve learned is incorrect or not? It’s simple: we’re afraid of change.

RFK BEACHAs human beings, we are comforted by our ability to set up schedules and stick to them. When they go awry we become filled with anxiety. The unknown becomes apparent to us for a short period of time before we fix that blip in our schedule and get back on track. But what would happen if we learned to step off the train every once in a while to see the unknown and learn from it? Would we never make a schedule again? Of course not. But we’d educate ourselves in things we never even attempted to educate ourselves in.

I see this a lot with people who find themselves in what they call “stuck in their old ways.” They feel they just “can’t get over their generalizations.” Instead, they stay within their level of comfort instead of learning more, educating themselves to progress their minds forward. Now, I’m not demeaning these people by saying they are incapable of something. In fact, I know they are wholly capable of changing their ways of thinking. They’re afraid, which is a normal human feeling to have whenever we are pressed to change our comfort zone.

I’m a testament to that. I used to be one of the most homophobic, sexist people you could find, but I took a hard look at my beliefs and knew I needed to change them – if not for me then for those around me who were harmed by it. And it was scary. I didn’t enjoy the uncomfortability I was in at all, but pushed forward every day because I knew it would benefit society as a whole to have one less homophobic, sexist person in it. So to those who are afraid of wanting to change. Do not fear it. Welcome it with open arms.

I’ve always been under the belief that each new generation should rise
up and be better than their parents’ generation. This is how progress is made. As one generation “takes over,” if you will, they can push society forward in every humanly way possible. They can eradicate diseases and ensure homophobic, sexist, and racist rhetoric is not welcome, and push forward ways to help ease the suffering of those less fortunate. I believe every generation should be more benevolent and compassionate than the last. This is the power of progress.

But we’ve seen a reversal of that over the last few decades. We’ve seen the enemies of progress come to light and make themselves very well known. Greed poisoned the minds of those who originally were believers in President Johnson’s Great Society and saw us cut back on helping those in need in order to help ourselves.115526-004-80c15ce2

The ideals behind Robert Kennedy’s urge for us to tame the savageness of man are at jeopardy of being wiped out by the selfishness that has continued to plague our society. We live in a country where there are more empty homes than homeless individuals; where someone on food stamps or disability is considered a moocher of the system while those on Wall Street making millions off the backs of working class families are considered geniuses. We need to change this mentality soon or we can say goodbye to any progress we’ve made not just during the times of the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society, but also the progress we’ve made in the last eight years.

Progress has many enemies, but the biggest enemy is selfishness. When we forget to help those in need, we fail to live up to the expectations that the world can become a better place, and instead leave those suffering out in the cold to fend for themselves and further become a society of haves and have-nots. Don’t let your rich Congress member or Senator fool you – there are no haves and soon to haves, and there never will be. Instead, we must face the truth that if we truly want to live in a better society, a more just society, a more perfect society we must begin to look inwards at our own “old ways of thinking” and push them aside and bring back the idea that each of us is the same regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, or social economic status.

We cannot live in a society where we promise to put people back to work, rebuild broken infrastructure, or heal a divided nation until we take a long hard look within ourselves and change our ways of thinking. That is the root of the problem. The good news is that while we are indeed the problem, we are also the solution. We have the ability to bring about progress in this country. We just need to change ourselves first to bring it to surface.
– RA

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