Apart from death, change is pretty much the only constant that we can be sure of in this world. Interestingly many people are as resistant to it as they are to the cessation of life.
Admittedly there are many kinds of change and we undergo a whole range of them without even noticing. Often these are natural changes and accepted as normal. Changes that are external, or thrust upon us, however, are seen as an affront to our freedom.
The main factor in determining whether a change is positive seems to be our ability to control it. As individuals we spend much of our time trying to create security and protect against uncertainty, or undesired change. Many organizations, institutions and associations are formed around the purpose of maintaining a particular status quo.
As I’ve previously said, creating some form of stability and rootedness, does have value but primarily in its capacity to provide a foundation from which to positively respond to change. Without change we are unlikely to grow. Indeed change always provides opportunity to grow, if we accept it as such.
For those who have spent time abroad, or are looking to do so, an openness to change is imperative. I have seen many expats who live abroad in cultures hugely different to their own, yet strive to recreate the life that they had at home. They even go so far as expecting those in the new culture to adapt to their way of doing things.
If we rigidly refuse to change, and expect the people and things around us to conform to our experience and expectation, we lose. Not only do we miss the opportunity to learn from and appreciate the difference that other cultures have to offer, but we miss the opportunity to become richer, to become something more.
If, on the other hand, we embrace every new opportunity we get, and even start creating them, we can’t help but change as we open ourselves up to new experiences and growth. To see real change we have to take control of our own destinies and start doing things differently. This starts with changing the way we think about change and engaging with it positively and proactively.