Monday, 11 April 2011

You Cannot Change The World But You Can Change Yourself

A Jewish man incarcerated at the concentration camps in Dachau, Poland made a startling discovery one day. After a great length of time being physically abused which included brutal canning he decided to stop reacting to the abuse. Before his decision, he had reacted like what a normal person in similar circumstances would have done; cry and plead with his tormentors. He discovered that when he cried as in wailing it just incensed the tormentors more, they increased the canning, it became more brutal more sadistic. He found out that his tormentors took pleasure in causing him pain and they enjoyed it more when he cried, instead of his wails acting as a deterrent on the contrary it spurred them to be more brutal. So one day before he was due to be canned, he made a decision that nor matter how hard, how brutal and sadistic the canning would be he would not react and give his tormentors the pleasure of seeing him suffer. He stopped crying, wincing and grimacing no matter how hard, brutal he was canned. At first the tormentors increased the canning but he refused to cry, he just stood there and took the brutal beating without ever showing an emotion. The tormentors were confused, they thought he had put extra clothing to cushion the blows, but alas he was as were other prisoners dressed flimsily. At first the non-reaction of this prisoner spurred the tormentors until they discovered that it made them physically tired while the prisoner was actually unaffected by it all. Then they decided not to bother canning that particular prisoner as it served no purpose.

Life is like that, you can choose to react to the challenges that life throws at you and let your reactions boggle you down. The world is full of depressed people who chose to react to their circumstances with feelings of helplessness, guilty anxiety and fear. Yes there is racism in the world, there is tribalism, sexism ......and a whole litany of unpleasant circumstances out there, you cannot control that, but what you can control is how you to react to those circumstances. You can sit there twiddling your fingers blaming Mugabe for your life's turn of events or you you can get up and take the necessary action needed to change your life. No one can do that for you, not your spouse not your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, society or the government only you can and you alone is the author of your own destiny.

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