They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. – Confucius
What does that mean?
To reuse words from the quote, this is about the only constant in life, and that is change. Everything around us is changing, and even we ourselves are changing.
If we are to remain constant in our life, constant in our happiness, or even keep up with that which is wise, we must change with it. If we don’t, change will happen without us.
By paying attention to the change which is happening around us, we can change with it, and maintain our happiness and retain our wisdom. But that requires us to be aware, and to take action on what we notice.
If we fail to notice, or refuse to change, then our happiness will change, and probably not for the better. What we consider wise may not apply anymore. Consider all the old sayings which no longer apply, as the wisdom they once contained has not changed with the times.
Why is being flexible important?
Being flexible is defined at TheFreeDictionary.com as being “responsive to change; adaptable.” This is what is necessary to accommodate the changes in life which will occur. Whether it is the world around us changing, or even the changes within our own bodies, the only constant is change, so be ready.
Flexibility allows us to adapt to the new circumstances and keep our happiness roughly the same as it ever was. It won’t ever be exactly the same, as circumstances have changed, but we should be able to keep it close. Failure to adapt may result in happiness leaving as things change.
Wisdom is based on past experience. But as things change, the old ways may no longer be the best. To remain wise, we must notice the change and adapt to them. This is where being flexible is important. Not in principles, but in our methods of attaining the results. That distinction is important.
Flexibility allows us to change and adapt as the world around us, and within us, changes and adapts. We will either adapt or we will suffer. Our happiness will be reduced, and our wisdom will become out of date or even counter-productive. And that would not be good.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Change happens in all the aspects of our lives, and the lives of those around us. Just because things are the same for us doesn’t mean that we don’t have to adapt if things have changed for others in our family or in our circle of friends or co-workers.
Change happens in laws, it happens in social convention, it happens in our bodies and those of our friends and family. Change happens in our world, our countries, our communities and even our neighborhood. Being flexible allows us to adapt to the changes.
At one point in my life, the words of wisdom were “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” However, doing that today will get you put in jail for child abuse. When I was in Junior High, the teachers had paddles, and if you acted out, you got your rear end paddled. End of story. That is no longer a wise thing to do, right?
The point is that time has changed what is and is not acceptable. Someone who tried to act on that ancient bit of wisdom would find themselves in a great deal of trouble. Change has happened, and flexibility is necessary to maintain discipline without resorting to now-forbidden methods.
This gets back to observing what has changed and adapting to what the new rules or methods have become. If you did not adapt, you would no longer be considered wise regarding the topic of child discipline, you would be considered a fool, and a dangerous one at that, right?
Change is everywhere, so you will have to examine your life and find the places where change is happening, or has happened. Think about what your old methods or ideas were, and then consider what you have to change in order to keep up with the changes which are happening. Not easy, but necessary.
Take some time to consider the different parts of your life. How has your family changed? How has your job changed? How has technology changed? How has your phone changed? How have the laws changed? How has society changed? How has the definition of wisdom changed? There are plenty of other changes to consider, but that’s a start. Get busy!
Change will happen. The only question is whether we will change with it or whether we will be left behind. By being flexible and adapting, we can work to retain our happiness and our wisdom. If we do not, we won’t be able to keep either. As always, the choice is ours to make.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius104507.html
Photo by ron james