Choir Notes

People Change Every Day
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4354

Have you ever bumped into someone you knew years ago, surprised to find how much he or she had changed for the better? Life is full of little miracles, but this is perhaps the greatest miracle of all—to see people change, grow, and improve, day by day and little by little.
Imagine how different life would be if we saw people not for who they are right now, but for who they could become. Think of how we might respond differently to a child if we looked past his failed and messy attempts to make something and into his productive, positive future. Consider the boss, spouse, teenager, or neighbor whose occasional annoying behaviors sometimes put us at odds. What if we could see them as the better person they might become? This may be the most important way we can change—in our ability to believe in and nurture change in others.
Clinton Duffy was a prison warden in the United States during the 1940s and 50s. He was well known for his efforts to rehabilitate the men in his prison. One critic who was skeptical of these efforts said to the warden, "You should know that leopards don’t change their spots!” But Duffy replied, with the wisdom and perspective that comes of experience: "You should know I don’t work with leopards. I work with men, and men change every day.”
It’s not always easy to see others as they can become, and it very often takes patience and faith. Too often we give ourselves and others a reputation, a perception, that makes change difficult. But people can surprise us, even inspire us, with how they can and often will change for the better.
1 In Thomas S. Monson, "See Others as They May Become,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 69.

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