Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Power of Change

Most people don’t realize that they could look or “be” like anything other than they presently are -- and see themselves, because that very important lesson is not what is taught in the schools -- which one would think would be its greatest value. Instead, education (schools) have become more about reinforcing the status quo in which students are expected to learn and uphold -- rather than change, personally, individually and collectively.

That is the eternal paradox of institutions -- which is the inertia to change everything else but themselves, and forcing everybody to fit into that mold and social order -- always starting at the bottom, rather than conceiving that they can begin that process at the top. And so a slow, arduous journey from the bottom (novice) to the top (master) is what is taught as the whole process of life -- rather than instantaneous and immediate change -- at any time in one’s life when one realizes such a change is possible, and desired.

If one knew better, of course one would choose differently, to be differently -- but that is not what people are conditioned to think, and reinforce, but its counterproductive, self-defeating opposite -- that change is what is difficult, arduous, unnatural and time-consuming, while staying the same, conforming, is highly desirable and socially-approved and sanctioned as the proper way to be(have).

So when one suggests that change is the proper way to be, many defenders of the status quo are quick to chime in that that cannot be, or happen, when it is in fact, happening all the time, at those leading edges defining those possibilities in our time. That is the art of living, and not the art of merely revering dead things and relics of the past -- which many come to believe, is the only time change could ever happen -- in the past, and not more powerfully, in the present moment.

Those are the realizations of the really great lives and lessons of the past -- but not that it could only happen in the past. The value of those lessons is that they can happen at any moment in the present -- and that it is possible to be changing all the time, rather than simply maintaining a status quo as an indication of health and well-being.

That is to say, that the healthy individual is the one who is changing all the time, transforming, exploring new possibilities, rather than confirming that the way they are, is the only way they must be -- and so should everybody else be (think) that way also.


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