“In life, the only constant is change.”
Some people absolutely, positively, hate change. These “creatures of habit” tend to follow a consistent routine where the more they can maintain the status quo, the better. For some, this may stem from a desire to “control” their environment, for others it may be due to a personal insecurity which causes them to fear any new or unknown situation, and still others might simply like their “comfort zone” a little too much. Whatever the reason, (control, insecurity, laziness), people who dislike change experience far more frustration and inconvenience than those who embrace change…
For in life, everything changes constantly.
Take nature, for example. In the spring, the snow melts, the weather warms, the grass grows, and the birds fly north. Then, just a few short months later in the fall, the air cools, the leaves change colors, and the birds head south for winter.
The same is true for our bodies… As infants our muscles our weak and our bones are frail. Our fine motor skills are undeveloped and we lack mobility. Then, as we grow older, our muscles mature and our bones strengthen to the point where we can run, jump, swim and climb! But this change does not end at the pinnacle of maturity. Once we reach the peak of physical strength our bodies continue to change, but now it is in a negative direction: Our muscle deteriorates, our bones weaken, our hair thins, our skin wrinkles and we start to shrink in stature with age.
Within our societal roles, change is also constant. At birth, our communal relationships begin with our mother. Most people quickly expand their circle of relation to their father and their siblings. Next in line might be grandparents and aunts and uncles. As we grow older, we add our friends and teachers and coaches. At this point, the change in our relationships usually becomes both erratic and unpredictable; Grandparents pass away, parents divorce, the family moves to a new town, sibling go away to college, and our circle of friends is in constant flux from that point forward.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! The seasons, our bodies, and our relationships are among the most predictable changes! Nevermind the pop culture fads of music, fashion, and vocabulary. And let’s not forget the advancement of technology (phonograph, records, 8-tracks, cassettes, compact discs, mp3s, etc).
Knowing all this, doesn’t it seem like resisting change is a futile endeavor? Knowing this, doesn’t it seem like a much more advantageous route to simply embrace change?
But what about “tradition”?
By “embracing change”, I’m not advocating that we embrace all change or that we force change for the sake of change. First, I’m advocating that we accept the changes that are outside of our control (the seasons, getting older, relationships) and adapt to them. Second, I’m advocating that we embrace change that makes the world a better place, regardless of tradition or how hard it may be. Circumstances that involve slavery, oppression, and discrimination need to be changed. Strategies that are ineffective, practices that are unproductive, and works that are unfruitful need to be changed. We can expedite these transformations by embracing these changes, as opposed to resisting them simply because of tradition. The only time we should embrace tradition over change is when the change makes the world a worse place.
As everyday brings a new set of circumstances and challenges, it is essential to be “open” to change. If the change will make the world better, embrace it, regardless of how difficult it may be to implement. For if the change is in the best interest of the people, it is going to happen with or without your support. And if you’re one of those people who are decide to resist the change, you will not be alone. You will be obsolete, but definitely not alone.
My advice? Embrace change. You’ll be happier for it and it’s the only thing you’ll always have to cling to.