It is an anonymous quote but very true: If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies. Change is hard and most of us approach it kicking and screaming. The things about change is ….it is life. It is an inevitable part of life and if we are living, we are already changing. We just do not always recognize that fact.
In 2005 Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apples Computers and the proverbial daddy of many of the technological advances made in the past forty years addressed the graduating class at Stanford University. “Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Most of us would not be comfortable thinking as we start our day that we are going into the world naked. Job was, of course, speaking metaphorically but there is some very real truth to his statement. We tend to resist change as a means of protection. People continue to vote for the same party regardless of the candidate because it is familiar. It is a cloak they are comfortable wearing. The same is true for lifestyles and religious choices. We may not completely like the metaphoric clothes we wear every day but they are comfortable.
There is nothing wrong with being comfortable but it does not really lead to growth… or progress… or success. “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” Warren Buffet’s analogy is also true. If mankind had never tried cooking food over a fire, well, we would all still be eating berries and grass mostly. While some vegetarians might be cheering at that thought, the truth is that fire not only allowed us to cook and preserve meats but to also sanitize things and increase a person’s longevity on this planet.
“Lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you.” We all are going to receive criticism but these words from David Brinkley show us how to use such criticism. The person who refuses to change will never go anywhere except where he/she has already been.
Change involves taking a chance. That is scary. It always has been but it is also necessary. The Roman scholar Ovid knew this: “Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast in the pool; where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”
No one truly knows what the next hour will bring but if we approach it with a positive attitude towards making a difference, towards making life better, then change will be positive for us all. Albert Einstein once said “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” We need to truly ask ourselves what would be so wrong if change occurred and then realize that the only future we have is if we change adapt so that it can happen.
“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” Harold Wilson might have said this jokingly but there is a great deal of truth in it. For us to have a future, we must envision a better world and then set about changing things to make it a reality.