Many people are talking about and asking for “change” these days – from panhandlers to politicians and poets to personal development seminar leaders. Yet for things to REALLY change, WE must change – to the point that we not do the same things but also are no longer who we ARE or once were. Hopefully, this will result in something “better”.
The French say “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Perhaps what people are really seeking is NOT change, but transformation – and some kind of “evolution” rather than any kind of (cyclical) “revolution”.
Our society lacks significant (and irreversible) rites of initiation and passage – and would benefit from clear distinctions between adult and child, as well as values, priorities, and behavioral habits. Divorce, single parenting, and “blended” families now outnumber couples and families who stay together; the rate of “recidivism” (among those convicted and incarcerated for crimes) is even higher. It’s quite common for people to “quit” smoking multiple times and/or “yo-yo” diet and regain whatever they “lost” – and a politician who “flip flops” on issues is probably more common than the number of his or her “constituents” wearing them. The examples are less important than what is “missing”: the inability to go back. Is “evolution” so politically incorrect that we are now unable to “mature” and “grow”?
A butterfly can NOT (change its mind nor ever) be a caterpillar again. It has nothing to do with being “new and improved”, but rather being something entirely different (that is unable to ever again be what it once was). Similar transformations abound in nature. Expecting something similar in our own (human) nature and lives seems quite reasonable.
Change is inevitable, but not always predictable. There are often unexpected influences. Stopping (or even just slowing, let alone “reversing”) change once started is often more difficult than overcoming the “inertia” that preceded it. “Balance” (or even “homeostasis”) is usually only a brief moment between moving toward one extreme/direction and another. Some things “evolve” while others are the result of “perturbation”. All that is for sure is that things will not always be the same. “Chaos” and “entropy” are as common as “centropy” and “order”. We and “Life” do not grow OR die; we and “Life” both grow AND die. “Death” (and/or the ceasing to be) is often required for something else/new to be born/exist (and take its place).
Be the Change!
For things to change, WE must change. And as WE change, so everything else “changes” (as a result). Yet to truly change, transform, or transcend who and/or what we are means no longer being US – in order to be something and/or someone else/different. This is not always easy – to even imagine, let alone do. Yet we do it all the time. Few of us are still the way we were in the past, nor will continue to be so in the future. The same is true for the world around us. This includes the pace or rate of change (and the pressure to adapt, grow, and/or make room for those that do) which seems to be increasing (exponentially).
Many things ARE changing in the world today – whether we want them to or not. The questions are HOW, WHEN, WHY, and in WHAT WAYS are WE changing (consciously or not)? Are WE consciously choosing or reflecting the change we wish to see in our world? How might we do so (more)? What changes would you like to see in the world or your life, and what or how would you change about YOURSELF to get it? I’m talking less about a cosmetic surgery makeover than about a mental and behavioral one.
Change you can believe in!
What qualities, characteristics, or attributes do you admire or desire enough to strive to acquire, develop, increase, or model yourself and encourage in others? What about thoughts, beliefs, or habits? How would things be “better” if you adeptly adopted or adapted these (“permanently”)?
© 2008 – 2014, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.