Inspiring Change

We have more problems on this planet than we can count. War, crime, exploiting natural resources, overpopulation, famine, and on and on. All of these problems are made better or worse based on the choices we make. With 7 billion people on the planet, that’s a lot of different choices.  There are hundreds of thousands of belief systems that guide what we want to accomplish with our lives. These belief systems are locked in place early in our lives and then we compete to fulfill our goals. This competition has led to conflict on every scale of society.

What used to be interesting to me is how little time we spent trying to understand our belief system and how much time we spent acting on them. It seems logical that to address group problems, whether global or household, we needed to figure out how to get on the same page. We needed to understand where our beliefs came from and where others beliefs came from so we could unify our efforts. That seemed logical but that isn’t how life works.

There’s more than logic and rational thought that locks us into our beliefs. There’s a lifetime of experience coupled with a complex set of genetic that makes us who we are. Even if we want to change it’s almost impossible to change life long habits. Yet even though we can’t fix our own bad habits we continue trying to improve everything outside of ourselves.

Vipassana is the first technique I’ve found that helps people change the deepest of these habits no matter what age, ethnicity, or background a person comes from. Now that I have a technique to help myself grow into a better person for myself and for the world I need to put my effort into following it. Instead of wasting energy convincing people with logic to change their habits and beliefs I hope to inspire people to take on the challenge of improving their own lives through this technique. The world will be a better place when all of us as individuals are better people. This technique is the best method I’ve discovered to initiate that transformation. I used to think it was selfish to focus so much energy on my own well being. Now I think it’s the best way to help the world. Now lets see if I can keep up this challenging path for my benefit and the benefit of others.

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This entry was posted in Helping Others, Observations by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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