I’m certain that you’re familiar with the phrase, “People hate change.” Familiar or not, we know that to be untrue. People love change. Change of clothes, change of pace, change of scenery, changing seasons. Many of my own greatest milestones were marked by a significant change… of hairstyle. (R.I.P Sinful A-line bob of 2010👋🏻)
People don’t hate change. They hate what they can’t control. More specifically, change that they can’t control. Nobody wants to give up the familiar for anything that isn’t guaranteed to be better than what came before. The familiar, at least, we know to be bearable. That can’t be guaranteed in regards to an uncontrollable unknown.
We believe that there is less risk involved when we are in control of our changes, but control is actually an illusion. We are not guaranteed anything—not tomorrow, not today, not our very next breath. Granted, there is something to be said for the illusion; it comforts our souls and assuages our fears. Still, not all uncontrollable changes are ill or fearsome.
Change is healthy. Seeds change into flowers, plants and trees. Tiny babies change into full-sized men. Sleepy towns become metropolises, providing jobs and commerce and blooming economies. Another word for change is “growth.” Change is often proof that we are alive and growing.
Change makes us more well-rounded. It grants perspective as we gain experience. Peter Pan (a favorite figure among the young at heart) stayed a child until death. Because of that, he never got to experience the fullness of what life had to offer.
As children, we were witness to movies that portrayed adults as unimaginative pirates, or fools. Bumbling dolts who no longer feel or see as clearly as children do. Many of us have unknowingly taken that attitude to heart. Getting older is seen as a curse. But there is beauty in that kind of change! There is a rightness to following the proper sequence of things, and a fulfillment in seeing life from every angle: child, adult and aged. Oh, to discover the jewels of wisdom hidden in every season of living!
Finally, change introduces us to ourselves. As things change, so must we. To change is to “turn into”, or “grow to be.” When things remain as they always were, we often remain as we always were. Change—especially in trial or tragedy—forces us to develop or die. It reveals to us aspects of our own minds, hearts and selves that may have otherwise lain dormant; hidden from sight. In every epic, it is the overcoming of great adversity (usually a change in circumstance) that unveils the depth of the protagonists true character.
Change is an unchangeable factor of life. For good, or bad, it’s here to stay. We are faced with the decision to embrace the changes of life, or buck against them. Not that you should take every change lying down… heaven forbid! We are neither so helpless nor so hopeless that we should allow any and every circumstance to reign and rule over us. Rather, my admonition is simply this: Allow for change. Make room for it. Engage the inevitable. Don’t shy away.
You’ve survived this far. Who knows where the unexpected could take you?