One of the most valuable lesson I have learnt in life is that you can’t ever change someone.
The only person you can really change and work on is yourself.
The belief you can change someone is sheer arrogance.
Why because it goes to show you think you are better than other person. Don’t fall for the trap. Iblis made the same mistake of thinking he was better and was damned for eternity.
We think we can and we try to change our siblings, our friends, our spouses, our children, etc.
Just the mindset that other person needs to change is the reason for alot of frustration and tiff in many personal relationships.
We do it under the guise that we are “helping” them become better people, but what is really going on is that we are working to change them in ways that suit us, suit our needs, and to make “us” happy.
And when that change doesn’t come about, we become resentful and bitter. Many of us would continue to live our lives frustrated for not being able to change the person or the situation.
What we don’t realize is that life and people are ever changing. Nothing is ever constant. Besides that we need to understand and also accept some things are just beyond our control to “change”.
Hence trying to change situations and people is futile and alot of wasted time and energy. It leads to nothing but disappointment.
This thinking that someone needs to be changed is limiting and can be detrimental in your own path to self development and betterment.
What I am saying is that the change you want to see out in the world begins with you!
It is way more simpler or even practical to attend to our own personal development than attempt to change anyone else. When we start being what we want others to be, we create the space for other person to be inspired to change. If you want your siblings to be mindful of their prayer, start praying mindfully yourself. You want your children to eat healthy start eating healthy yourself.
So how do we start bringing about that change?
By becoming more aware of our internal processes, by being more mindful of our thoughts, by being more motivated by personal growth and development. And the best example to hold as a parameter is the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.
Al-Bukhari reported: Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “If you intend to mention the faults of your companions, then remember your own faults.”al-Adab al-Mufrad 328
We need to be willing to acknowledge our own short comings and insecurities. In beginning to change we need to address our own unhealed areas, allow them to heal or make peace with them.
So when we find ourselves frustrated at someone or something, we need to dive inwards and see what part of us is it which is at war with what we see outside of ourselves.
When we do that work on ourselves, the outside circumstances (be it a situation or a person) won’t affect us.
For that we have to alter our perception of situations. When we change ourselves, our perceptions of situations, people in those situations start to change too!
This brings to mind an example I was reading somewhere. They say we are are the sum of 5 people we associate with. Now imagine all those five people inspiring 5 others and we have a whole domino effect going. This goes to show undertaking self development not only changes us but also affects those around us.
The truth is people around us are always watching us, noticing and absorbing everything we do. All we need to do is choose carefully what we want to be and be what we want to see because the change we seek does not begin on the outside it comes from inside-out.
We can all be leaders in making or atleast initiating the change we want to see.
Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.Qur’an [13:11]