Things Change

Nothing has ever stayed the same, and oh boy, isn’t this the case for everything out there. There isn’t a single thing in the history of the world — nay, the universe — that has not changed a single bit. The single most constant thing that is always, well, um, constant, is change. And everyone always argues how natural it is to change, and yet, everyone’s always afraid of changes.

This is evident in a supposedly ancient Arabian saying that’s half-absurd and half-true. I can’t quite quote it properly due to me being a lazy ass, but it’s something along the gist of: “Time changes everything except the Pyramids, they never change.” In a sense, the saying’s correct, since the Pyramids have been around for millennia, and will probably be for at least as much, unless we bomb the living sandy hell out of them. But what this saying is saying is not that the pyramids are eternal — which might seem like that for somebody — rather, that everything changes after time.

Now, I’m not here to argue about physics, or temporal sciences, or the inevitable return of our overlord, Kronos, but about how we, humans, are both susceptible and defiant towards change.

To say that humans hate change is both a fact and a hyperbole. And this in itself might be a hyperbole, but that’s a discussion for better people than you and me. Not everyone approaches change the same way. Different people have different immunities to it, and some even embrace it. Truth be told, there are plenty of folk out there that thrive in change. Me, I’m just okay with it. I treat it as that uncle you’re cool but not great friends with. Because that’s what change is, something that’s always been there and you see often, but don’t really have to live with.

What I’m saying is, of course you can refuse to change, but it’s like living with your extended family and you all use one bathroom and someone barges in every time you’re taking a shower, just so they can crap. It’s not fun, innit? I might be hyperbollifying here, and that’s very cromulent, but that’s hardly my point. We’re not here to talk metaphors, we’re here to talk cold facts. And face it, nobody likes to live in a crowded house. See where I’m going with this? Nobody likes but has to change every now and then, because if you don’t you’re basically dooming yourself to live in an imaginary bubble that makes sense only to you.

But it isn’t easy to change. It’s not easy to change a single damned thing, let alone everything. People refuse to even change their opinions, not to mention whole lifestyles. Opinions should be easiest on paper, since they don’t exist in a physical plane or have any attributes or properties that make it difficult. Yet, people feel if they changed an opinion they’re sacrificing parts of themselves, and nobody wants to do that, but at the same time they don’t realize their opinions were hardly their own. The sense of self is one of the strongest emotions a person has and with every change that sense has to readapt and fix its rudder, thus making such a change hardly easy or straightforward. The fact that it’s easier to deny than to accept a fault or error speaks volumes of this. No wonder denial is a very common defense mechanism.

People often attribute being unable of change to willpower. If only it were that simple. There are oh so many human factors in the mix, that it’s absurd to even try to explain them all. But just as an example, here are some:

· You’ve lived a cozy life and always had what you wanted. Now, due to unforeseen circumstances you can’t anymore. And you have to change. And you just refuse! Damn everyone who even mentions adapting. You deserve to live a cozy life!
· You’ve done a certain thing for a long time in a particular way, and it’s always worked out for you. This might make more sense if your age is somewhere around the end of the second digital clock. Now a proverbial youngster tells you there’s a better way to do said thing. Well, screw you, sonny!
· You’ve achieved plenty of things in life and you’ve gained renown about your business or creative skills. It’s been years since you’ve been a greenhorn and now you’re surrounded by yes-men; people that agree with you for everything because you’ve proven yourself in the past. But back then you had advisors that you trusted. After a few screw-ups, things are going downhill. Who’s to blame? Of course not you, because you did everything right! You don’t have to change a thing! You’re just misunderstood and surrounded by idiots.
· I know three points is the magical number to round it up, but here’s a fourth one to shake things up: You’re stubborn because you’re human and you feel human emotions. It’s perfectly normal to not want to change because sometimes it might cost you more to change than to stay to same. You’re rational about this, but either way something’s bound to bite your ass. C’est la vie.

There are tons of situations where we can discuss about not wanting to change. But the desire to change or stay the same is but one side to coin, the other being something not as often discussed. Besides wanting to change we should ask one simple but profound question. Should we change even if we wanted to? If this question was a single symbol in the human equation it would be a giant flaming omega.

So, what happens now after we’ve asked the question? Nothing much, I suppose. This is part of what makes us human, a deep element in our genetic and biological code. We weigh the weight of our actions and consequences (well, some of us do, at least), and if when we’ve reached a satisfying conclusion to our internal simulation we put the results in effect. And when we refuse to change, then the gods be damned. We’re the riders of our karmic unicycle and we can trot off wherever we damn well please. Nothing can make you or force you to change yourself — and if you know you should but don’t want to, then fine. But be prepared to live with the consequences.

Everyone has refused to change or adapt at a certain part of their lives. I don’t know of a single soul that’s always adapted to every situation and changed everything accordingly. That’s because everyone has a distinct personality and intrinsic characteristics that lead us down the road called life. And as long as we change or refuse to change to our own volition then I’m down with that. It’s called being a person.


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