Change has always been uncomfortable and often quite painful requiring effort and adjustments to the way things used to be. The pain of social change has often been accompanied by violence such as the civil rights movement of the 1960’s in the U.S. Change has frequently had the most significant or devastating effects upon the shakers and makers of change such as the civil rights demonstrators in Alabama and Mississippi or those who told the Church that the sun was the center of the solar system, not the earth. But it is the shakers and makers of change whose stories are told in the history books, not those who did no change or resisted it.
The founders of this nation were advocates of revolutionary new ideas that changed how governments are run. They were the extreme left wing liberals of their time against the traditional old English Royal family rule. The British sympathizers were the conservative right wing of their time. Ironically the Tea Party was part of the extreme liberal movement during the revolution. Our most celebrated presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were both nation changers espousing radically new ideas for a new and distressed nation. Necessity is the mother of all Invention. When the colonists gained their independence from Great Britain a new type of nation was invented that 200 years later resulted in the greatest nation on earth. When America was in the grips of a great and bloody Civil War this nation was redefined so that all those living in it had equal Constitutional Rights regardless of skin color or national origin.
Change is what brought mankind from the stone ages to today. ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it‘ is NOT the motto most great shapers of change use. Instead ‘If it can be done better, Chang it‘ is. So progress is change. Often we fight progress because at that instant of change we are placed outside of our comfort zone. But like taking a long flight to a vacation destination, when arriving at our destination we feel refreshed and ready to enjoy. When acquiring a new high tech gadget we must go through the pain of learning how to use it, but once we have grasped the essentials, learning to use it becomes fun.
Change is the natural order of things. Nothing is as it was a moment earlier. The universe is constantly expanding. Everything including each of us is a moment more aged than we were the previous moment though we are not conscious about it until we are old and in failing health. Change happens to some things faster than others. A mountain grows high then becomes worn down to level ground over hundreds of millions of years. We humans are born, live, and die usually within ten decades. Civilizations, empires, and nations rise and fall every few hundred to a thousand years, a blink of an eye in the life-cycle of mountain building. We, as a country, have evolved over the last 200 years to a nation no longer resembling its birth. Perhaps we are now on our way out as part of the life-cycle of the rise and fall of empires, as life gives way to death then rebirth.
Not all change is seemingly beneficial depending upon ones relative perspective. Is a cup half full or half empty? But change we must because it is in the nature of things both past and future. History would not exist if it were not for change for what is the point of history if things are always the same. Memories are all about change in our lives as they are the moving hands of our life-clock. Without change there would be no events and time would be frozen, no past or prospects of a future, pointless of having memories.
So change seems unnaturally natural. Those who experience change more frequently are less stress out about it. However those not accustomed to it are more distressed when experiencing it. We are all a mixture of both but achieving a balance is best. No change is dead. That is why we need to take vacations away from the routines of everyday life at home and at work for a change of scenery.
We can undergo change, make change, have change, change our minds, change directions, or exchange but change we must: each change resulting in a difference from one state to another. But as long as we experience change we are still alive and living. At least that is the way I see it.