If you’re like me and probably most people these days, you wonder what it’s going to take to actually see change in people’s actions, attitudes and our culture in general. We SO want to see things take a major turn for the better but have you noticed that so far not much is working?
Sure there are good people out there. People are trying to help us find victory over evil. But I wonder if we’re not spending far too much energy, time and money doing and saying things that may feel good, right and helpful but instead we need other directions.
Let me throw out a few suggestions about what’s not working and what might take the place of these generally well-intended strategies:
Casting more guilt on leaders, certain groups or people in general. Here’s the problem with pastors, writers, the media and other purveyors of opinion using guilt as a motivator. The people causing the challenges and committing evil acts don’t care if they are guilty. They know it and will keep doing what they do for other reasons. And those who aren’t guilty really can’t change these people anyway.
Thinking that clever admonitions, pithy sayings or creative sermons or public speeches will alter the landscape. Just recently someone quoted a pastor on Facebook who made an excellent, heartfelt point in the aftermath of the recent shootings. And while church leaders and other communicators should enlighten the good people they will do little to get those who need to change to actually be different. I’m a pastor and speaker and will keep trying to prop up and educate others with truth and wisdom but I doubt I’ll have any impact on the bad ones.They’re not listening to me for the most part.
Providing more expert analysis and overviews of the problems, people involved and what we should have done. We certainly have scores of knowledgeable, hard-working pundits, reporters and researchers who present cogent, well-said summaries of what’s going on and yet little of it matters or causes change. I listen to them, too, and learn much from their perspectives and find myself motivated to see change happen but it rarely does.
So the question is: So what WILL change the culture, what can we do to actually see a difference made in people, society, leadership and attitudes in general?
- Knock over one domino. What? By that I mean, make some little difference every day – through your family, job, neighborhood, school, library, etc. All it might take is for us to touch one person, make one small change, do some caring deed and many others will be impacted even beyond our lifetime.
- Pray. Of course real change only comes from heart change. We need to pray that God, the maker of each of us, will penetrate the deep recesses of people’s souls to bring about real transformation.
- Be the change we want to see. Want more integrity in the world? BE a person of integrity. Want more effectiveness in government? Consider doing your part to change it. Too many are flailing at the darkness but doing little to be the light.
- Vote. As the election nears, I hear too many people saying they aren’t going to vote this year because they don’t like the candidates. But the issue is not who will be the perfect candidate but rather how can we elect the person who will provide opportunity for and initiate the greatest amount of change? In addition, there are other races that need the best candidates to win. We’re the only ones who can see that those people take office.
Of course there are more practical things we can actually do to change the world. However, most of them won’t bring major change all at once. We need to be in it for the long haul, look beyond simple answers, trying to guilt people into change or demanding it through our empty calls to those who will never hear them.
Frankly, most people have likely already made up their minds and won’t change their minds unless they actually see a reason to change. Seems like the best way to see that would be to observe it in real people like US!