Spiritual Reflections

The Be Attitudes: Vicissitude

[Okay, I admit: vicissitude is not actually an attitude. I just wanted to use it because it rhymes with the rest of the series haha.]



Roughly, vicissitudes are sudden or unexpected changes or shifts often encountered in one’s life, activities, or surroundings. A vicissitude is often used to denote a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance. It is a fluctuation of state or condition, usually a difficulty or hardship on a way of life, a career, or a course of action and usually beyond one’s control.

How can something unpredictable like this be an attitude at all? 

There’s a popular saying that goes, “Change is the only constant thing in this world.” And true enough, that hasn’t changed at all — even from the time of Heraclitus, to whom this quote is attributed to. He also had this notable quote: “Everything flows, nothing stands still.”

Change is a natural part of our lives — yet how often do we welcome it? How many times have we resisted it, struggled against it, tried to prevent it?

You probably have complained about people who changed. You probably compared your current neighborhood with how awesome it used to be before. We talk alot about how it was more fun back in the 80s and 90s. We love reminiscing the old songs, the old movies, the old gang of friends, the old hangouts. Recently, I even found myself enjoying the old video games from my childhood years, and ask — “Why aren’t they making video games like they used to?”

But not all changes are that bad. Technology has made communication more convenient for a lot of people. Computers have made some tasks not only easier, but also faster and more efficient. Medical breakthroughs are changing the way we perceive illnesses and other health concerns. We are now living the future that we never imagined before as children.

Vicissitude is also defined as the quality or state of being changeable. It is about being able to adapt to these waves of change that flows in our lives. Like an old song goes,

I spent half my life 
Looking for the reasons things must change. 
And half my life trying to make them stay the same. 
But love would fade like summer into fall; 
All that I could see was a mystery, 
It made no sense at all. 

The will of the wind, you feel it and then, 
It will pass you blowing steady. 
It comes and it goes, and God only knows, 
You must keep your sails on ready. 
So when it begins, get all that you can; 
You must befriend the will of the wind. 

I spent so many hours
Thinking about the way things might have been. 
And so many hours trying to bring the good times back again. 
And so it goes for lonely-hearted fools; 
They let their days slip away, 
Until they give into…

The will of the wind, you feel it and then, 
It will pass you blowing steady. 
It comes and it goes, and God only knows, 
You must keep your sails on ready. 
So when it begins, get all that you can; 
You must befriend the will of the wind. 

It’s about trusting where fate leads us. It’s about being hopeful about our destiny.

Sure, a lot of changes can be painful. A death of someone you love, forgotten friendships, love — broken and lost, faded memories, leaving home towards strange lands, finding a new church, looking for people to trust, even trying to learn new technology. It’s not easy or simple. Why can’t good things stay the way they are?

Yet change is beautiful. We grow older. We discover new friends through the years. We build new family circles. We find new communities to belong. We learn new things. We see life in new perspectives. We wake up with a new appreciation for life. We sleep with new dreams for tomorrow and its coming generations.

Vicissitudes may come and go in our lives — but why should you worry? Even the seemingly unchanging stars do change, yet for centuries they remain on the skies — a testament of God’s eternal glory and power. And though our time may seem trivial to these heavenly wonders, God loves us more — that will not change for all eternity.

So change your attitude. Welcome the vicissitudes in your life with love, faith and hope in God. Befriend the wind.

• • •

Want to know more about the be attitudes? Stay updated on the series:

#0 — Introduction

#1 — Gratitude

#2 — Rectitude & Correctitude

#3 — Certitude

#4 — Solicitude

#5 — Promptitude

#6 — Fortitude

#7 — Vicissitude

#8 — Quietude & Solitude

#9 — Mansuetude & Similitude


9 thoughts on “The Be Attitudes: Vicissitude

  1. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Mansuetude and Similitude | I am radical

  2. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Quietude and Solitude | I am radical

  3. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: An Introduction | I am radical

  4. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Gratitude | I am radical

  5. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Rectitude and Correctitude | I am radical

  6. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Certitude | I am radical

  7. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Solicitude | I am radical

  8. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Promptitude | I am radical

  9. Pingback: The Be Attitudes: Fortitude | I am radical

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