Never Change

“Never change.” We’ve all heard it or used it at one point in our lives. It’s that phrase that everyone tags to the end of their sappy, parting yearbook message or tosses out if someone asks for our two cents. Think about it— the thought of never changing because people thought you were already perfect just the way you were; it’s sweet, but it’s bullsh*t. You aren’t perfect because let’s face it, no one is. For those who think they are, just remember that "I’m perfect" is but an apostrophe and a space away from being "imperfect." After all, there’s a reason we have new editions of textbooks and updates for apps. It's because we must constantly change in order to improve. We forget that by getting comfortable and settling down we are settling for less than what we are capable of achieving. By allowing ourselves to settle down, we are preventing ourselves from getting up and being productive with our lives. We risk becoming societal couch potatoes.

Why bother trying to fix something that has worked for centuries? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to the know the difference.” To think that change can only be positive may, in fact, be naive, but to prevent yourself from improving because of the possible risks is what truly makes a fool. Take Emma Watson, for example, a child star who could have easily disappeared beneath her fame and fortune. In a culture where celebrities fear losing fans due to their expression of opinion, she did not hesitate to take a prominent position on social issues, questioning the inherent inequality between men and women’s rights. Her actions not only helped to shape the stance on Feminism in America but also that of the countries around the world through her advocation of the U.N.'s HeforShe campaign. Though people came to judge her for more than just her career, Emma Watson refused to stop supporting and expanding opportunities for girls like herself. To stand up against everything you have been raised to believe in and challenge what society has told you was impossible to change is to make a decision that can be made by anyone. And yet so few have taken it.  

Don’t think for a minute, however, that I’m telling you to be ungrateful for what you have. I’m just saying that instead of settling for satisfactory, we should go above and beyond. Far beyond.

We think that because we aren’t a superhero we are incapable of making a change. But no one is telling you to grab a megaphone or raise your arms in protest. It is in the everyday things that we have long since accepted that are the hardest to alter. It starts with changing our mentality, our tendency to accept our current society and selves without question because of our fear of change. I believe that it is in the hands of our current generation; the responsibility to move forwards, to question and to dare to change not only ourselves but the society we live in.

Stop blaming society because we are society. We deem what is important and what is not when we choose to jump on and off the latest trend bandwagon. Instead of pointing an accusing finger at the government, we should actually try educating ourselves on choices that affect our day-to-day lives and the lives of future generations. The idea of debating controversial topics in the setting of a classroom is not one that is even introduced until the latter of our academic career. This is because educators fear offending students, or worse yet, parents. Our perspectives, however, need to be broadened; thus, we must be open to the opinions of others. In doing so we are able to improve our own ideas and beliefs, allowing us to change not only ourselves but our society.

Instead of telling you to never change, I am urging you to never stop changing.