Control and Change

by Sherry Riter in Change,Self-Development  

Westminster Abbey

Written on the tomb of Anglican Bishop (1100 AD) in the Crypts of Westminister Abbey

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered that the world would not change, so I shortened my sights and decided to change only my country.

But it too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I steeled for changing my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed my world.”

I have read this over several times during the last week and contemplated it often throughout the day. There is a big difference in trying to change someone through control than it is to guide them. We can take Alyssa as an example. When she was younger, I did not want her to be one of those children that screamed and begged for candy all the time. So I took the big candy container off the top of the refrigerator one day and told her that she could have as much candy as she wanted to eat. I told her that I still expected her to eat her meals and if she ate too much candy, she would vomit.

What did she do?

She ate too much candy…

And then she vomited.

But she never ate too much candy again. Vomiting once was enough for her to not want to repeat the experience.

The point is that I gave her the opportunity to experience a consequence. There are many things in our children’s lives that we can allow them to experience to help them make better choices in the future. It helps them build one precept upon another. I wouldn’t suggest allowing an experience that may set them up for a failure that has a long term effect such as forcing them to drive drunk, but there are many things we can do as parents to “direct” and not “control” our children.

It is the same with our own lives. We are in “control” of our own choices. We can change the things about ourselves that we don’t like or we can keep them. No one is going to “make” us do anything. Right?

Well, that is only true if it isn’t against the law because if we are caught, the police will “make” us go to jail. Anything short of that kind of action is truly our call. We are in charge of our future…our destiny. We can look backwards or we can live now with an eye toward the future. The choice is up to us.

We are in “control” of our own thoughts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keep thinking positive thoughts. Don’t dwell on the negative in your own life or the people around you. Strive to see the good in people and in the opportunities (let’s not call them hardships or trials) placed in our paths.

Is it hard to do? Are we going to make mistakes?

Sure! I can say with a resounding “YES!” that it is an extremely difficult undertaking. But remember that anything worth doing is usually a struggle to accomplish.

So I hope that we won’t be like the Anglican Bishop. I hope that we all can make the changes in ourselves and our lives that will make the world a better place to live.


The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eva Gallant February 15, 2010 at 3:41 am

Wonderful photo and interesting lesson you taught your daughter!


2 Oh Sew Good February 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

Thank you for visiting my blog and for the Valentine too. I really liked your post today because it has given me something to think about. I'll probably be back again to have another read.


3 Teresha@Marlie and Me February 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

great post! making mistakes and learning from the consequences is how we build character. we have a too many young people who don't know how to solve problems because parents nowadays are too quick to swoop in and rescue. I am working hard not to become an overprotective parent.


4 Anything Fits a Naked Man February 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Love it! I agree wholeheartedly!! Thanks for the thoughtful words, I'm going to carry them with me all day!

Have a great week!


5 Mayra, mommy to Pooh Bear February 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Love your blog!! I was reading through some posts and there's such a great variety.

I love the meaning of this post.

Following from MBC. =)


6 aplaceforthoughts February 16, 2010 at 1:52 am

Great post! Thank you! Beautiful picture, too!


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