“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw’s wisdom suggest that success occurs when those unwilling to change, make the decision to do so. But why than would man persist in waiting for the world to change? For me it was fear adapting would lead to something far worse.
Something worse in my case was a new school. Having gone to the same close nit elementary for seven years, adapting to a new environment was something which I had no knowledge of . Growing up, I was always positive where my future would lie. I along with almost all my former classmates were to attend the same private school together. We had been a team and we would always stick together. Only things were not to go as planned, my parents informed me that we would be moving. I would not be enrolling in that private school, I would not be joining my teammates in the fall.
How could this be? After years of being content I was being forced into an entirely new and different situation. My parents were supposed to do right, and make decisions based on what was in my best interest. Shocked greatly by their actions, I will never forget that feeling of betrayal. I had lost my friends and my family was to blame. If ever there was a time in my life when I saw the depths of despair, this was it.
As school approached, I told myself I would stumble. Having never experienced such drastic change in my life, what more could I expect. People were not going to like me and I would definitely not like them. I was going to end up forgetting my past, and it me. Deep down I wanted a better future, but as stubborn as I was, there was simply no way I was going to adapt to my surroundings in order to achieve it.
The initial change was indeed a terrifying experience. Something for which I had reason to fear, but surprisingly nothing was ever as bad as I expected. Old friendships had indeed been halted by time, but new ones emerged. Memories surely grew distant, but a future now exists that would not have before. That year, life presented me with what I thought was my biggest obstacle to success. It turns out this change, forced upon me by my parents, is most to thank for that success.
To wait for the world to change is foolish. It took me far to long to realize that. But now that I have, I will look back to the changes I have gone through and nothing will give me greater confidence in my future endeavors. Change was a powerful force in my life, a force that required me to react. I chose to adapt. I believe you must.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.