Time to adjust the sails: A Commentary Steve Fair

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Only those who embrace change will survive. Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”President John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.”

The gospel of “change” is drilled into young impressable minds from an early age. Hundreds of books are written each year enumerating recipes for making oneself a ‘change agent.’

Three thoughts on change:

First, change is not always positive. America has changed — a bunch. A nation built on the fundamental tenet of liberty and justice for all now limits liberty and rejects justice. Civility in the U.S. is dead. Showing respect for differing opinions is a sign of weakness in modern-day America. Humility is for the feeble and puny. Compassion is for the frail and decrepit. Character traits that were once admired in the U.S. are now despised. Attributes that in the past were thought of as unsavory are palatable.

Second, change for the sake of change is not positive. Change for the wrong reason results in confusion, disorganization and skepticism. An excellent example is the Affordable Care Act. America’s health care system changed radically under President Obama. Despite the U.S. now spending far more per capita on healthcare than other high-income nations, it still scores poorly on life expectancy, suicide and maternal mortality. The change in health care has resulted in poorer care at a higher cost. There are hundreds of examples of legislation (laws) at the federal and state level either unnecessary or that resulted in ‘unintended consequences.’ That is not positive change.

Third, there are some things that don’t change. God doesn’t change. He is immutable, unchangeable, and unshakable. God doesn’t change in His essence, attributes, plans, and promises, because He is perfect. God’s Word doesn’t change. It is eternal, infinite, and everlasting. It is solid, concrete and grounded. Mankind should take great comfort that in a world of change, the Creator of that world is unchangeable.

People can’t be immutable or unchangeable. Mankind should constantly strive to improve, but what should not change? What is the difference between timeless principles and ephemeral practices?

First, a core value is one that we hold even if it becomes a disadvantage to hold it. Second, core values are based on more than just our opinion. In the case of a Christian believer, those core values are based on the Bible — for American citizens, they are based on the U.S. Constitution.

Russian writer Leo Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”Sausage king Jimmy Dean said it a little different: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

America needs to reverse the changes that have moved the country from its founding documents and principles. In a self-governed system, that responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of individual citizens. It’s time to adjust the sails.

Note: Steve Fair is Chairman of the Republican Party in the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma. Steve’s conservatives commentaries appear regularly at the CapitolBeatOK.com news website. Contact him by email at okgop@aol.com. His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com.