One of my favorite words! One of my mottoes is that I am dynamic, not static. When I’m feeling particularly strong and positive I like to say I am aerodynamic.
I don’t believe in labels, and I don’t believe in first impressions. Both tend to be lazy and/or shallow. I have been misjudged and underestimated all my life, typically by people who figure I am “weak” because I am short and skinny, or assholes who mistake my kindness for gullibility and vulnerability and try to intimidate me.
Please don’t take a snapshot of me and conclude that is who I am. I am constantly learning, evolving, and growing. I think my siblings and some other family members have an out-of-date perception of me, because we live so far away from each other and do not spend a lot of time together, through no one’s fault except perhaps my own, for choosing to move to CA. Although they can follow what I’m up to, I get the feeling they think of me the way I was as a teenager. It’s not that I am a different person, but rather that I am much more than I was. I have added many layers, skins, interests and experiences. I believe that each day I grow for the better, and I am much more a movie than a still photo.
In literature, often the most admired and most interesting characters are those who are dynamic and demonstrate a significant metamorphosis from the beginning of a story to the next. My favorite example is Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. As a backdrop, canvas, and environment for such characters there are necessarily one or more static characters against which the strong lead characters can be gauged. Static characters tend to be antagonists, such as evil villains. I’m not saying all static characters are “bad”, but the protagonists who inspire us experience life-changing moments from which we learn more about our own journeys, hopes, and dreams. In short, they are our heroes and champions.
How about making that concept real and thinking of yourself as your own champion?
We’ve all seen the bumper sticker that says, “Be the Change you wish to see in the World”, typically attributed to Gandhi. I found a blog that purports to bust the myth that he said it:
Here’s a fuller quote that he apparently did say: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
Both quotes are wonderfully though-provoking, regardless of who said them.
Being the change means rejecting the status quo and taking responsibility. It means working toward improvement of the human condition, whether for oneself or for the community and the greater good.
I endeavor to let go of the labels and misconceptions others place on me, and I refuse to be a snapshot. I embrace change, and I try to do something nearly every day to make progress toward my goals. Often, I fail. I take a step backward and fall into negative habits, or I procrastinate and waste time. Lately and more often than not, however, I outwardly express positive energy and go to new places and try new things. It’s a daily challenge to break through my own insecurities and the limitations I placed on myself, but I am dynamic and feeling stronger every day.