Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The roots of change

Where reside the seeds of change?

What does Change do in its off-hours? Can one predict when its winds will fill our sails so we can tack our way to an island of greenery - or are we thrown suddenly a kilter, unwilling and unwitting victims of an unforeseen hurricane of transformation? Why do I plod on with my staid, ineffective course on Monday and throw all precedent into disarray come Tuesday? What lever caused me to at long last put on sneakers and walk off a few calories, or switch from whole to non-fat milk?

Experience tells me that change does not gently wash us anew with the soft coaxing light of gentle guidance; instead it is an unsympathetic taskmaster. I am human; I am prone to slack off. Only when the consequences of the status quo becomes overbearing will I buck up and face the unknown. Change, therefore, is the outcome of persistent fear, force, or pain, born of inactivity. It can be altogether a most unpleasant condition.

The paradox of transformation: If I remain as I am, indulging in ineffective patterns of comfort seeking (euphemism for "eating"), I magnify the crisis. Yet freedom from that routine's prison is stressful and tiring, generating the drive for comfort. I return from whence I started. The more I resist, the more I induce forces that haul me back. Said 18th century philosopher Voltaire, "God is a comedian playing to an audience that's afraid to laugh." I'm searching for humor here; maybe someone can explain the joke?

There is light. As with Hope emerging from Pandora's box, Change's companion is Vision. Stagnation, as relaxing as it might falsely appear, reveals no future, each day is merely a dulled replica of any previous period. What I was yesterday, I shall be tomorrow. This is not Life, merely the passage of time. Despite the tumult and travails of change, vision of a better place is what propels its engines.

For all the effort, if I stay mostly true to my course (or at least return quickly when I stray), there will be a quiet, reassuring, calm at journey's end. There, I will breathe deeply and enjoy the well-earned fruits of my efforts.

Gotta keep going.

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