Reading this quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo: “Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.” I started to ponder what it could mean.
Not everyone chooses evolution. In fact many people are content with life as it is, which means that they are stagnating. Stagnation is the opposite of growth and change. It’s a step before death.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, revolution is “ a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm.”
If you were to start living your life as a revolution, what would you like to fundamentally change about your life? What kind of thinking would you love to revolutionize? Your thoughts about money, about being rich vs being poor; or the way you think about your relationships, about your intimate one, your relationship with you; or the way you think about your world, your boss, your government?
What would it take for that basic thinking to be altered? A drastic event like an accident, a separation, a job loss? Unfortunately, that’s how most fundamental changes happen. To remodel your paradigm is a labor of love that takes time and lots of repetition. And most of the time, when we make drastic changes we hit a wall of fear. We are confronted with our old beliefs and if we don’t have a strong foundation built on repetition we will more than likely revert back to our old ways that feel like an old pair of slippers.
The revolution could come from being introduced to a new way of thinking and being open to it. However, know that this new idea will only be accepted once you’ve heard or seen it a few times. It’s how we are wired.
Evolution sounds slower and more passive in this quotation, but it doesn’t have to be.
Evolution is growth and all things on this planet grow, for a while, and then growth becomes a question of choice. It’s in the choice that we experience “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state” (Merriam-Webster’s definition of evolution).
That sounds smoother, slower and easier than revolution, thus more achievable. It echoes the saying “Slow and steady wins the race”. Isn’t it what this journey is suppose to be: a game involving endurance and skills? Skills are acquired through adaptation and acceptation of the challenge, which in turns alters the present situation.
What if evolution was fueling the revolution or change in paradigm?
After all, our way of relating to life is a revolution if we compare it to life a hundred years ago… And a hundred years on billions of years it took for us to get where we are is a blink in time. From that perspective, we are living our life as a revolution. On a day to day basis I would be tempted to look at it as evolution. What can I say, I’ve come to prefer the gentle way…
Chantal, I tend to agree with what I perceive may be your overall perception that you don’t need to create a revolution to evolve. Yet, I don’t understand the quote as forcing us to chose between evolution and revolution as you seem to do. What I understand the quote as posing as a question is more would you rather just live and simply be part of the evolution process (i.e. go with the flow) or would you rather “be the evolution process” (revolutionize how things are done, be an actor not a bystander, live life at its fullest). Based on my understanding then, I’m all for one’s life to create a revolution to shake up things and confront ideas as long as it’s done in a peaceful and respectful way. I therefore see evolution in this context as “just being” (being simply part of the evolutionary process as D’Angelo says) as opposed to revolution which equates to being the evolutionary process. In other words, to revolutionize is more like “living versus surviving”, which you may remember me saying on occasion.