One definition of evolution is a pattern caused by movement. Another is the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. There are many stages to evolution for an individual. Some people evolve slowly and consistently, others have spurts of evolution. Evolution can take place in our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our finances, our careers, and our relationships. We are ever-changing as people. How you accept and adapt to those changes make the difference in the quality of your life.
If we do not evolve, what is the alternative? What happens to people who do not evolve? We all know someone whose life is stagnant and depressing. They have been saying and doing the same negative, unproductive things for years. Some are in abusive relationships; some have addictions but do not believe in recovery or redemption. Some have extreme financial problems, or are not growing in their careers or improving their personal relationships. They have been unhappy for years. Yet, they don’t make changes in their patterns of behavior or accept changes that occur naturally that can make their lives better. They are constantly complaining about what they don’t have, but they aren’t working towards changing their circumstances. They are waiting for someone else to come along and “rescue” them from themselves. The best evolution is not a forced evolution by others, but one that is initiated by self.
Ted Williams is a recent example of this to a degree. The man has had a tremendous amount of hardship in his lifetime. However, some of it he is personally responsible for. No matter what anyone does for him at this time in his life, he has spent many years of his life not evolving. He has not been the best example of a father or husband. He also has suffered from addiction. He’s been homeless for a number of years and was “discovered” singing while panhandling on a street corner.
Prior to the World learning of Ted Williams, he worked in radio in Columbus, Ohio for a period of time. I’m sure people in and around Columbus, Ohio may remember him and have even wondered what happened to him, not realizing that they were driving past him as he stood on the street. But how much was Ted Williams working to do on his own to change his situation? Why hadn’t his family welcomed him back home if he was clean and sober? Would he still be on that street corner if Doral Chenoweth hadn’t spotted him and pulled out his Flip Cam? These are just a few questions that come to my mind. A lot of people are talented. They work very hard to get to where they want to be and never receive the types of “offers” that Ted Williams has. Why do we celebrate him, more than he celebrates himself? We love an underdog, but isn’t a young man struggling to pay for college on his own, also an underdog?
The reality is this: Until Ted Williams wants to evolve, all of the job opportunities, television interviews, accolades and compliments will not change his life for the better. He could easily regress back into his addiction (allegedly he already has) and go back to panhandling on that same street corner. We can sit in awe of his amazing voice as much as we want to. We can pray for him daily, offer him opportunities, money and support. However, until Ted Williams prays for himself, and becomes self-motivated to change his life for the better, then takes the steps necessary himself, he will soon be forgotten about and be replaced by the next “discovery”. While the young man struggling to pay for college, will graduate and become successful because of his self-determination and the World won’t even notice.