Noticing Needs

Many times, the term “change” may bring about fear or reluctance due to having to venture into the unknown. Yet, when considering society as well as our own individual beings, we must realize that change is required. Change is crucial to progress, because, without change, situations that need to be improved can stagnate growth. As we seek change, we must have a willingness to press forwards diligently, view circumstances with a fresh outlook, have optimism that improvements can be made, and be able to notice what adjustments are truly needed.

Differentiating Between External and Internal Needs
One of the most vital steps when making a change is to realize that changes are often necessary in order to not only help society improve and prosper but also motivate us to perform optimally and become more effective. Although the need for change seems to be everywhere, it may require us to first view life from a new perspective. We must realize that our words and actions are powerful and can make a tremendous difference in this world. It is also important for us to determine whether the change that is needed is an external need or internal need. While external needs are the differences that we would like to see occur within the world, such as the elimination of violence, prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance, internal needs are the changes that could be made in order to improve our own personal lives. Internal needs often include discovering methods that can help us overcome obstacles that are causing us to feel defeated, inhibiting us from being as effective as we would like, holding us back from our potential, and preventing us from taking pride in ourselves. Internal needs are usually different for each individual but may include finding techniques that can help us cope with our internal struggles and such emotions as resentment, anger, and sadness. When considering internal needs, it is imperative to remember that we are called to transform society’s expectations, not conform to standards, and that we must only attempt to make changes that adhere to our values, rather than make changes for anyone else.

Necessary Factors for Effective Change
Most people can agree that change is desperately needed in this world. However, there are several factors which must be taken into account when deciding which ways to most effectively implement change. When considering what measures must be taken in order to make a positive impact in society, the following should be considered:

  • We need to have the willingness to live the music within, remain true to ourselves, stand for what we believe in, and refuse to cave into pressure. By looking towards the future rather than remaining focused on any past regrets, we can begin to recognize our importance and ability in bringing about a positive change.
  • We need to believe that we have been equipped with unique gifts and abilities which empower us to contribute effectively to making positive differences. We must look beyond our weaknesses, recognize our strengths, and have the courage to rise beyond any perceived barriers.
  • We need to possess a fervent passion to keep pressing forth. We, as a society, need to set aside our differences and be unified with a common vision of a world that is accepting of all individuals and ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. We are living in a critical time in which messages of love, acceptance, and equality need to be made clear and put into practice. There is no room for hatred, intolerance, and discrimination as they bring about destruction rather than growth.
  • We need to understand that, as members of society, it is our responsibility to live positively and inspire others to do the same. While one person may be able to ignite a flame, it takes many people working together to keep the flame alive. We must lead a movement against apathy and towards progression in which support and care for one another are emphasized.
  • We must realize that we are in this world to make a difference. A shift in priorities should be in effect in which commitment to serving others and demonstrating kindness takes precedence over desires for money, power, and fame.
  • In today’s technological age, it is imperative that we use social media to bring about positive results by encouraging one another throughout their journeys, rather than allowing it to be a mechanism for tearing people apart, judging others, and speaking negatively about people who differ from mainstream society. We need to use our voices to value others and open passages of communication, as well as inspire, challenge, and edify one another, so that the end result yields cultivation rather than deterioration.
  • We need to recognize that the arts are powerful sources in uniting people and inspiring change. The arts can draw the masses together because they are relatable and reach beyond boundaries. Channeling into the messages of the artists and understanding that we all have a song within us can be beneficial in helping us live our lives in a manner that can bring change not only to our own lives but also to the lives of others.

Questions for Consideration

  • Why do you want to make a change?
  • Can you envision the effects of the change?
  • Will the change make this world a better place?
  • Who will benefit from the change?
  • Will the change promote growth and progress?
  • Is the change feasible?
  • What are the long and short-term goals associated with the change?

Suggested Songs

  • American Soul – U2 ft. Kendrick Lamar
  • Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
  • Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  • Chained to the Rhythm – Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley
  • Gangsters Are Running This World – Roger Taylor
  • I Dreamed a Dream – Patti LuPone
  • Is This The World We Created…? – Queen
  • Live and Let Die – Guns N’ Roses
  • Mad World – Tears for Fears
  • Numb – Usher
  • Repent – Shaggy
  • Rock And A Hard Place – The Rolling Stones
  • Sign of the Times – Harry Styles
  • That’s the Way of the World – Earth, Wind, & Fire
  • The World We Live In – The Killers
  • Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie
  • Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer
  • Walk Between Worlds – Simple Minds
  • We Believe – Queen + Paul Rodgers
Noticing the Need

“Learn to think continentally.” – Alexander Hamilton

Keeping the Need in Mind
Resilience can be a beneficial characteristic to possess. It is the way that we bounce back after facing trials. If those who have faced hurdles have been able to overcome them relatively quickly and have been able to return to customary daily living successfully, then we consider them to be resilient. However, resilience is not always a good trait, especially when it amounts to no changes being made. When we experience stress in our lives, it can help us to see what changes need to take place. Stress can cause us to look at situations in new perspectives and formulate ways to overcome hurdles. Resilience, however, takes us back to our customary way of living. We have become a resilient society who often bounce back from whatever trials we endure. Yet, many times, in the process of becoming resilient, the progression that we truly need to make impactful long-lasting changes is lost. For example, in the wake of horrendous events, such as mass shootings, we can hear the outpour of cries, as well as the silence of shock, as we mourn with the families and friends who have lost their beloved, and, for a season, we talk about what can and should be done in order to prevent the occurrence of similar tragedies in the future. Yet, too quickly, it seems that we, as a society, bounce back from the weeping and mourning for our world and return in whichever way possible to the ways that things were before the negative events experienced had taken place. While it is imperative that we learn to deal with hardships and live life productively, we cannot continue to live life as we have, negating any negative experiences. Rather, we must utilize the experiences which we have encountered, both good and bad, to learn and create progress. We can’t ignore the events that have molded our present; we must learn from them. Many times, it seems as we are in a repetitive cycle of mourning and bouncing back without making the appropriate changes needed so that we don’t keep experiencing the same types of tragedies with frequency. We need a unified vision.

Welcome to the age of change
The age where people will no longer put up with intolerance, with hate, with ignorance, and with injustice
The age when people recognize that it is imperative to follow our forefathers and great leaders who have paved the way to taking a stance for freedom and justice
The age of understanding the importance of banding together in unity to show that there is power in numbers
The age of leading with love, with compassion, with understanding
The age when people will demonstrate through action that love triumphs hate
This is the age of change