Marvin Gaye once sang in his song “Change,” “Change is what you can, what you can’t, leave it alone, have the sense to know the difference between the two.”

With those words in mind, interesting thoughts began to resonate. I thought about the things and events in everyday life that are changeable, those that are not and the difference between the two variables. I also began to think about the things and events in my life and what I learned from them as well as how to apply that knowledge for the betterment of self and my surroundings.

I first began to analyze the things that cannot be changed. One of those things was past events and occurrences. Since it is physically impossible to go back in time and redo or undo what has already been done, the best that one can do is understand what has occurred in the past and learn from it.

They can then apply what they have learned to their everyday life to make a change for the better.

Another of those things was other peoples’ perceptions, opinions and attitudes of life. They can be encouraged for the right things or discouraged for the wrong things, but it is the ultimate choice of the individual to decide their fate. Another focus is others’ attitudes toward their fellow human beings.

This is a complex subject, but the best that one can do is not only to be the best they can be, but to attempt to treat others exactly as they would wish to be treated and expect the same in return. The rest is left to the creator of the universe.

I then began to focus on the things that can be changed. One of the main things is a person’s lot in life. Since we humans all come from humble beginnings, we all have the same starting point in life. How we get to the finishing point depends on how we view our own life in particular and life in general. How we feel about ourselves will greatly influence how we view others and life. With that in mind, it is up to us to strive to be the best possible — although nobody is perfect — and to greatly improve our lot in life, as well as life in general.

Now I will deal with the difference between the two variables. As stated earlier, the way we view ourselves will be the way we view life and others. Since trials and tribulations will surely come around, the way we respond to them will greatly influence our outlook of life and have a pivotal role in our lot in life.

Knowing and understanding the simple imperfections of the human being, yet always striving to be the best possible, will be the backbone of the individual’s strive for success.

Many successful people have had trials, tribulations and failures. What sets them apart from the average person is that they persisted and pursued and, most importantly, believed in themselves and a higher supreme being. The overall success and perseverance of future leaders and success stories will depend on that very formula.

In conclusion, the essay ends the way it began, only this time with a serenity prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept with grace the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Jackson can be reached at

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