The Thought for the Day – J.R.R. Tolkien

…change and growth is not in all things and places alike…the passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


It’s said that change is mandatory, but growth is optional.

Very true.

…change and growth is not in all things and places alike

Change varies, of course. It can be planned or it can be random. It can come quickly, even instantly, or it may give plenty of notice. It can be tragic or splendid. No matter its aspect, we can either accept or reject the lessons change offers us.

Growth in the eye of life’s changes is not guaranteed. If we’re smart, we accept the lessons and put them to work for us, because anyone who accomplishes anything of substance in this life is not the same person they were when they were younger. They’ve grown, putting nature and circumstance to work for them, accepting the changes in themselves and putting to use what works and discarding what doesn’t.

We must put the benefit of the years to work for us.

We must utilize life’s changes to evaluate ourselves and learn what will put us in the best position to construct the life we want. We must be relentless in being on our path. We must realize that what interests us now may not be what interested us when we were younger, and vice versa. We may accomplish a goal only to find we’ve come to the end of our interest in that matter and are liberated to move on to something else. We cannot stubbornly hold on to the dreams of the past when we’ve outgrown them or when the fates show us they are no longer attainable.

the passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream

Like the seasons, our lives are merely passing ripples in the long long stream. For some, this is hopeless, a sign that what we do really doesn’t matter, so why bother? And in some ways it doesn’t matter. A hundred years from now – except for some old Japanese women – there will be all new people on this planet and we will be long forgotten.

But for those open to change and to putting nature and circumstance to work for them, merely being a passing ripple is OK. It means we have a finite amount of time on this planet and we had best get busy and make that time serve us.

Every day it’s our call. We can while away the passing seasons with a mindless procession of wasted days, or we can make each one ring with our purpose.

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