An intelligent 11-year-old boy had told me that his father suddenly changed. Out of the blue, his father had decided to quit his daily long commute to an office he’s been working for twenty years, with one that is closer to home.
I told the boy that change happens immediately. “When people change, it is not bound by time,” I said.
“I remember an old quote: if you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions,” I added.
“You see, most people are sleepwalkers,” I continued. “They wake-up in the morning going about their routine, commuting to work in the office, dreaming that someday they’ll get out of this mechanical life, and finally be free from it. Yet, they don’t realize what they are doing is not going to get them any closer to change. We can talk all day about change, but if nothing takes place within the individual, there is no change. For example, I would not tell you to sit down and listen carefully because if you’re not interested in what I have to say, then you won’t listen - period. I can condition you to behave for a while, but after a few moment, or when I leave, you’ll just revert back to how you were before, unless there is a change from within yourself. As your teacher, I can only guide you to awaken your awareness. I cannot change you, and neither can anyone else except yourself. If someone says otherwise, it is because they want to control you, or make money from you.”
“Similarly,” as I looked at him in the eye, “many parents asked me how they can improve their kids, and all I can say is to look at how they’re teaching the kids now. I can usually guess how a kid will turn up in two or three years time just by looking at their actions. Because their present actions will determine what will become of their future. So always remember that change must take place in an instant. When you think I will be different tomorrow, you are only modifying yourself from the day before - which is no different at all.”