Change. Nothing so hard and nothing so easy. Like the planets we are governed by Newton’s Laws. An object at rest tends to stay at rest while an object in motion continues on its merry way. It takes the application of force to make a difference.
Too many people are forced to change by actual acts of force. A war, a storm and personal disaster and the carefully plotted course of our life spins off in another direction. A downward spiral, a diminishment of prospects, or a golden opportunity to shift our fates.
Change. They say you have to want to change but, as we see, change happens whether we want it to or not. So we may as well want it.
There is nothing constant but change so why do so many people resist it? You see it all the time. Conservatives are particularly resistant to change. This is not always a bad thing. Staying still is part of preserving what is good about the world. Resisting change can be a positive thing if it maintains that which is valuable.
But like anything else, resistance (oh, so futile, as the Borg say in their poetic moments) in excess only leads to strife.
Everybody wants a better life. Most of us fear that a better life for others means a worse life for us. It’s not true. Goodness and mercy are in infinite supply. Everyone can get along and move along together. This is the optimist’s creed really. Tiresome at times – there are no problems, only challenges; where there’s a will, there’s a way. Yet as tired and clichéd as positive thinking is, there is a home truth involved. We can muddle through to the other side. And all that muddling is done so much more easily with an open hand than a closed fist.
The sad thing is when resistance to change, to progress, is transformed into an ugly ism: racism, sexism, ageism, ableism. Name it and there is someone who will adopt it as a way of life. Oh they pretty it up as white supremacy (okay that’s pretty ugly) or men’ rights (as if men didn’t have all the rights now) or whatever but it’s all pretty lame and sad.
But we don’t have to give into anger or hate. At the Hugo Awards (Science Fiction prizes) last night, a large group of people stood up and said in a quiet voice – we’re listening to you but we’re saying no. We won’t engage in the discourse of fear. We will move forward.
And that’s ten minutes.