There is simultaneously so much to say and feel about dealing with the many facets of change, and at the same time.
For me, it’s a matter of the approach. Is it with the audacity to believe that both will lead to hope – or should both be feared as threats.
Regardless of what side of the border we think and feel about change and time, we now live in the 21st century. A time and space that dictates that change is part of life. So coming to terms with change and time seems to be a reality to embrace, rather than avoided, denied and obstructed. Can we even dare to circumvent either one?
So let’s think about approaches. When you think about change, do you agree that it is a good thing or a bad thing? Are you somewhat unsure that change is even necessary? Do you try to avoid it whenever possible? Or, maybe you agree that it is good, but you still don’t want it to apply to you? Whatever the case, this is where we are now.
The pandemic put the world on notice – and in a blender – dictating human-social-cultural-political changes without time to prepare. Even thoughts and prayers were not enough.
It did not ask any of us whether we were ready and/or willing to deal with it. The dramatic and traumatic changes happened and we individually felt somewhat physically and mentally dysfunctional, unbalanced and threatened. We were no longer in control . . . but were we really ever in control? Or is control over change and time always a delusion?
I have always thought about change connected to time. For me, both were incomprehensible and baffling concepts that challenged whether we as humans could ever be in control. Both were stark realities that we could seemingly only try to manage rather than control. As a child, it seemed as if I was a voyager in their control.
There were two major teachers in my life that taught me about change and time. Mother Earth seems to be my most significant mentor in recognizing changes over time. She was always there reminding me that nothing – no one – remains the same – while the clock kept on ticking.
As a young child, I did not have to know about Parmenides, Heraclitus, Newton, Einstein, Hawking or the Incas pacha to realize that change and time were part of my life – day by day – second by second. Days turned to nights – stars came out – seasons changed.
The other teacher was by way of experiential learning . . . immigrating from the Patagonia, and then the changes and times migrating from New York, to Boston, and then Detroit. These were all changes and times without my consent. You see, immigrants have their own counterstories to share about change and time. That is, if you have the time to listen.
Therefore, as a young ignorant child, I began to realize that change and time were major realities as part of our lives from birth to death. I did not have to fear either.
We are slowly realizing that we, as human beings, can’t control everything, no matter how hard we try – and . . . oh how we try! Often by the same failed means, strategies and processes. Wasting time at the expense of worthwhile changes that could enhance the quality of life.
So, if we come to the belief that change can be a good thing – then when is it optimally a good thing? When is it time to change?
The first step is to personally affirm that change is a reality and that it will happen to each of us – believe it or not – like it or not – vote for it or not. We don’t really have to wait until our next birthday or the the new year to get a grip on time and change.
Change happens on a daily basis. Here is a simple reality check. Find some old print photos, slides, videos, play some of those oldies but goodies vinyls . . . now go directly to the nearest mirror and take a good hard look. Regardless of the nips and tucks . . . notice any changes? Look deep inside . . . when, where – how did time and changes happen? It takes time and reflection to answer such abstruse questions.
There will be also be some bruises when calling on the past, as some folks in photos are no longer present – no more time to change – to pause and say, “Oh how I love you!” ~ “Thank you for loving me unequivocally.” ~ “How I miss you!” ~ “How I wish I could say I’m sorry.”
Once convinced that change and time are inevitable and connected, the next step is to come to terms with how we think and feel about both realities. Here we need to be kind to ourselves, because our perspectives and beliefs about change and time were fostered and nurtured by a social-cultural-political-religious curriculum that we did not choose nor had the opportunity to fully comprehend or even question.
During our developmental years, we are a captive audience to family and environment. As children, we believe, follow, learn, and model what is presented as realities and truth, only to discover that the greater world often presents alternatives – our first encounters with established foreign constructs and agencies.
The third step is to embrace the reality that change will come and therefore it is best to be prepared when it arrives. On this reality we can do some research as to why some of the most successful institutions, corporations and individuals embrace change by pro-active choice and design.
In other words, pro-active change, rather than reactionary change, is part of their vision, mission and guiding principles. They not only believe it but live it. More significantly, they don’t wait for it to happen.
So what is the essence and ethos of such a pro-active ideology – psychology – physiology? I believe that it is an individual or institutional mind set – a pro-active “credo” built on looking forward and enhancing the quality of life of each human being, as a community of citizens, employers and employees.
So how has pro-active change taken place in America since 1776, 1865, 1919, 1945 and 1964? Change has been a tough road for the U.S.A. It continues to be. But it does not have to be.
Change is a force of life that can be considered an environment that is all-inclusive seeking veracity, transparency, collaboration, equity for the greater good. It is a matter of liberating and empowering. It is inherent, expected and understood establishing credibility and trust. No need to fear change over time.
The same can be asked of every politician and political party. Is the candidate we vote for pro-active in her/his thinking, voting history, and eager to collaborate and find consensus in order to make worthwhile changes for the better and greater good? Or are they and the party they represent stuck on being stuck embracing the status quo, denying and obstructing worthwhile universal changes.
Let’s consider some alternatives – some consequences for embracing or rejecting pro-active changes without needless delays. Who will benefit from the changes and how important is the time frame for the changes to take place?
What we know abut change and time is that there are major global issues that can’t wait to be solved that require immediate change. Contrived political delays tend to have local, national and global reverberations and consequences. What is the impact and price on the human condition to move forward or needlessly delay? The following are but a few issues waiting to be solved – by the way – many will be on the next ballot.
- Protecting Democracy and Voting Rights/Access
- Affirming and Protecting The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Rule of Law, Inalienable Rights
- Affirming and Protecting the Four Branches of Democratic Government, Executive, Legislative, Judicial and Fourth Estate
- Gun Violence – Mass Shootings – Gun Control
- Anti-Corruption and Transparency in Political Candidates, Political Party and Supreme Court
- Climate Environment and Change
- Combating Drugs and Crime
- Countering Foreign & Domestic Extremism, White Supremacy, anti-Semitism, Hate Crimes
- Cyber – Social Media – Artificial Intelligence
- Economic Discrepancies – Inequality
- Future Pandemics – Biotechnological Threats
- Universal Health Care
- Global Wars – Invasions – Insurrections – Crimes Against Humanity
Glaring life issues have been on the back burners of politicians, political parties, lobbyists and special interest groups for far too long and time and change is of essence. We can’t wait and have our children run out of time.
America will not experience positive outcomes and enhancing the quality of life of all citizens by avoiding change. We need to inquire as to who is causing the obstruction and why? Who will benefit from the status quo? Who is at the table of influence to determine whether there is movement towards change or promoting the status quo?
Those in favor of remaining the same, with absolute resolve, proclaim that the status quo provides consistency and predictability – that is – if the predictions are honest and based on validated truth.
We know the global negative impact of fossil fuels on our environment and global change, but change is discouraged due to financial established infrastructures. Therefore, the status quo has many insidious reasons for remaining the same with its power and control. Maintaining power and its control is when the status quo is truly consistent and predictable.
There are a plethora of reasons why change is good. Change helps us to grow. Even a scary unforeseen abrupt change can result in acquiring perseverance, diligence and resiliency. Dealing with change stretches us beyond what we may have believed we could endure.
So why the hesitation socially-culturally-politically? Change creates fear of the unknown. We are creatures of habit. We want to be able to count on what we expect to happen. When it doesn’t, it causes anxiety, stress and unforeseen challenges. This is when having prepared for change as a reality helps with difficult transitions that can be highly complicated.
Change may cause us to lose control of what we perceive to be our status, our permanent and comfortable space, loss of what we value, question whether we are valued, loss of privileges and entitlements, or the loss of our generational place in the line of succession. The fear of loss can generate feelings of being left out, displacement and helplessness.
While change may be inevitable, we still need to decide what we intend to do about it and how to deal with it. This is the critical step when we can decide to learn from change rather than turn it into life-long grievances, being stuck on being stuck and living in the past – both dead ends. To live in a static state is a matter of existing rather than living.
Life is not static – never has been since the beginning of time and always changing. Life is dynamic, ever morphing, evolving and fluid.
Aside from this, dealing with changes over time creates positive attitudes on how to handle conflicts, disappointments and loss. Expectations are measured and reserved without fear of the future facing change with confidence and resolve.
A positive attitude and appreciation for change and time can literally enhance knowledge, emotional intelligence, perspectives, attitudes, horizons and self-image.
Change keeps hope alive. It can literally change legacy and history. It’s all a matter of how we approach and believe it is . . .
So – is change in a timely fashion a reality and possibility? Absolutely! Unequivocally!
Both are waiting for us each morning as we awaken. Both follow us around all day, available. Both are there in our dreams.
But don’t expect change and time to be enablers, complicit to stagnation . . . but rather both nudging, prodding and pushing us to change . . . during our time . . .