Benjamin Franklin once said that there were only two certain things in life: death and taxes. Considering the times in which he lived, he should have added a third certainty—change.
As humans, we emerge from the womb to become newborn babies. Then we change to become little children. From that to adolescents, then adults and finally we grow old and die.
All of us experience change in our lives. It’s the one constant. Some changes we look forward to and others we fear. However, one thing’s for sure. Things will not stay the same no matter how much we would like them too.
When our lives change, we have two choices in how to respond. We can assume that things will be worse, or we can look with excitement at the new possibilities that the change presents.
Is every man doomed to relive life, which is all the more profound because it grows comic with repetition? That human existence should forever repeat itself, like a record a drunk keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox?
Some folks see change as an occasional stroke of bad luck, like a traffic accident or a bad snowstorm. Something the Goddesses above and Gnomes below visit on us to test and try us, as we resist changes over which we have no control. Actually, it’s more like the weather, something we live with every day, just another dimension or aspect of our lives. It is change, continuing change, inevitable change that is the ruling factor of our lives. The decisions we make need to take into account not only the world as it is, but as it will be.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability; it is the engine that gives us the means to continue.
“Change is the only thing that is constant in life.” Is a familiar expression used to help folks embrace change, even change they may find to be inconvenient or trying.
Speaking of trying times, as much as I myself oft times set in dreamy remembrance of how life was, or at least how my memories longingly portray, life sure seemed somehow easier, cleaner, more black and white and more logical back in my youth. The good guys wore white hats and rode gleaming white horses and the bad guys wore black hats and rode black horses with steam roaring from their nostrils like dragons from some other magical era.
Then it seemed there were solid identifiable truths no one would deny, nor argue with. Like right and wrong and ways of living that the vast majority deemed correct and proper. There were far fewer laws but more common sense and logic to everything back then.
As most would agree, all the things I remember from my distant past are slipping away moment by moment, like tulle fog rising from the hot pavement after an early summer rainstorm.
So what do we do about it? Is there anything we can or should do? Methinks all we can do is except the undeniable fact that change might very well be the only real thing in life. We are forced to realize any kind of perceived permanence is an idea or supposition that exists only in our feeble minds.
In the political realm nowadays, there are those who lament all the incredible changes they see happening in the world and especially in American right now. As much as I agree, we all have to realize 1950 was a long time ago and will never come back. Most people my age and older have nothing but fond memories of the 50’s as a time in history when stability and reliability reined supreme. A time when the attributes we grew up with were solid, predictable and real.
Monumental change started happening in the 60’s with everyone starting to question the sanity of trying to keep things forever as they were, which was ultimately an impossibility. That was a period when once people’s minds were subjected to new ways of looking at reality, a shadowy door was forever opened to never close again.
The truth is, those times are long gone now. With the social changing winds ablowing across the land, nature, social institutions, social behaviors and social relations changed forever, reminding us once more that change is the only real thing in life. All else are only temporary philosophical ideas. Once again reminding us that society moves forward by evolutionary means.
So all the anger, hate and blame coming from both extremist sides of present day politics as always has no meaning whatsoever.
The only real answers for our present constantly changing issues is a society of clear thinking, honest folks who actually care about each other’s inherent worth and goodness. People who strive to find a middle ground they can traverse together through whatever change brings us into the future.