The Winds of Change

April 28, 2014

There are two concepts running side by side: (1) life is all about change, and (2) the more things change, the more they stay the same. I subscribe to the first and doubt the second one.

When I think about change, I think about the change of seasons. It doesn’t matter whether you live in an area where you only have two seasons, the dry season and the wet season, or you live in an area where you have winter, spring, summer, and fall, it’s all about change.

So, too, with opinions based on different ways of seeing things as you go from childhood to adulthood, to old age. If I held on to the opinions I had as a child, I’d think I have a case of arrested development. In fact, as we go from adulthood to old age, we should have experienced more of life and formed new opinions based on what we have learned.

Every time we read a book, listened to a political speech, heard a rumor, interacted with people, experienced love, heartbreak, death, or birth, we are amassing a vast array of emotions, opinions, judgments, and thoughts based on the events in our lives. Unless you’re living under a rock, it would be impossible not to do so.

That brings us back to the question of whether it is possible for the other view to exist that the more things change, the more they remain the same. I don’t see how that is possible in the strictest sense of the word because people change based on their experiences.

If you go away for a number of years, you can’t expect your old friends or loves to be sitting around waiting for you, on the off chance that you might come back someday, and you’ll take up where you left off. People change; they go on with their lives and develop new interests and new attachments. Even if you were in a deeply romantic relationship and you go away for an extended period of time, when you come back, your relationship will have changed.

Perhaps these are the aspects about life that make me wonder why so many people are resistant to change. They’re going to happen anyway, whether we resist them or embrace them, so it just makes more sense to accept them as a part of life.

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