I was always puzzled by the fact that people have a great deal of trouble and pain when and if they are forced or feel forced to change a belief or circumstance which they hold dear. I found what I believe is the answer when I read that a Canadian neurosurgeon discovered some truths about the human mind which revealed the intensity of this problem. He conducted some experiments which proved that when a person is forced to change a basic belief or viewpoint, the brain undergoes a series of nervous sensations equivalent to the most agonizing torture.
I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer. I wasn't trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time. I didn't think of myself as liberated, and I don't believe that I did anything important. I was just myself. I didn't know any other way to be, or any other way to live.
I would like to be a valuable person, more than anything. I would judge a persons value by how prepared they are to give what they have to others. I feel a responsibility to keep open to the opportunities for change in my lifetime, and not to waste time by becoming fixated with my own identity and worth.
Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self, in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which one's nakedness can always be felt, and, sometimes, discerned. This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes.
If any man claims the Negro should be content ... let him say he would willingly change the color of his skin and go to live in the Negro section of a large city. Then and only then has he a right to such a claim.
If none of us ever read a book that was 'dangerous,' had a friend who was 'different' or joined an organization that advocated 'change,' we would all be just the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. Whose fault is that Not really McCarthy's. He didn't create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully.
If people become ecstatic the whole society will have to change, because this society is based on misery. If people are blissful you cannot lead them to war -- to Vietnam, or to Egypt, or to Israel. No. Someone who is blissful will just laugh and say: This is nonsense!
If some things aren’t going well, do something; never wait for the things to be ok by themselves! Do something; change the direction, change the parameters, change the criteria, change anything you wish to change! To change is to create a new destiny! Remember, you have thousands of different destinies; change is your instrument to switch from one destiny to another! Remember, you have thousands of different destinies!
If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.