Friday, October 22, 2004

Don't fear change, go with the flow

Don't fear change, go with the flow

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Friday, October 22, 2004 12:39 AM

Why is it that we often find life so difficult? Because we get surprised by change and unexpected events. We like permanence. We look for predictability because therein lies the known. We fear the unknown because it holds so many surprises, yet, it is in the impermanence of continuous change that we grow as persons.

From the day we are born, till the last moments at the hour of death, we experience a never-ending chain of events, happenings and inner movements of the heart that build one upon the other as we grow in maturity and wisdom.

Though there is an instinctive fear of the unknown that changes inevitably bring, we are aware that without change, we remain stagnant and drift backwards downstream as life passes us by. Impermanence causes us to feel insecure, even fearful. We then try to hold on to what we have and what we are in an attempt to keep what we have, to remain what we are.

Organizations and governments hate change. And so do the people who work in them. They vigorously resist change and the unknowns it brings. Better to keep the status quo than to risk, even if the potential benefits far outweigh what is here present.

We are terrified to let go. The lover who finds herself in a toxic relationship won’t get out because she fears letting go because doing so might bring even more pain than she now suffers.

We change mostly when we have no choice. We get off the ship only when it’s burning and sinking. And some of us would rather go down with it than take our chances in the sea of the unknown.

Still, if we look back on our past, it becomes crystal clear that what has propelled us forward to success in our endeavors was change. How many of us felt depressed at experiencing unwanted change only to find greater happiness in the changes that followed?

I know a man who felt it was the end of the world when he got fired from his job. He had no place to go, no means of support. The future was pitch black with not even a sliver of light in sight.

He finally landed a part-time job that was so successful that he formed his own company and went on to become a multimillionaire. He told me that his firing was the best thing that ever happened to him. It changed the course of his life and led to success he could never imagine.

How many seeming tragedies end up being great blessings in disguise? How many misfortunes lead to unexpected fortunes? How many criticisms of God end up embarrassing us as we find ourselves blessed beyond belief?

We need to learn to accept that change is an integral part of life. We need not fear impermanence because the Lord on high has endowed us and empowered us to deal with it and grow, not despite it but because of it.


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