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Change Happens. Some Aim to Deny It or Stop It. Some Aim to Understand It, Embrace It or Slow It.

Published on 20/08/19
by randy

So where’s the caterpillar?

How we approach change determines our politics.  Some of us embrace those things of tradition which we are willing to die for before accepting.  Some of us will refuse to accept change when it’s staring us squarely on our doorstep.  We have certain political leaders today that lead populist movements claiming they can stop change.  There are many religious leaders claiming they can promise a permanence that meets our liking.  There are several health practitioners claiming they can stop the aging process.  Yet, to this date, no one has been able to stop change.  No matter how much money one makes or how much power one accumulates, the body ages, we surrender the body and we say goodbye to all those things we so desperately tried to hold onto.  An education aimed to foster the curious mind helps us face inevitable change.  A spiritual practice strong enough to embrace uncertainty helps us live more carefully, causing less harm along our way.  Education, curiosity, humility, gratitude and a sense of stewardship help us move along the evolutionary/adaptive path with least harm.  On the other hand, when we close our minds and refuse to explore approaches to inevitable change we seem to accelerate the very change we’re trying to hold back.

Those that deny change or believe they can stop it may be called “change deniers”.  They have demonized those who are responsible to meeting change with stewardship as “progressives”, “liberals”, “left wing”, “elite”, etc.  Yet, these labels are not helpful.  We all have qualities of the traditionalist and a curiosity to explore best actions that harm least.  While we are all tempted to think we know, we don’t.  We’re trapped into ‘thinking we’re right’, when the most important thing we can do is to loosen our fixed minds and seek understanding.  Today’s politics no longer work.  We’re caught in the illusion that we can persuade another to think like us.  The Law of Nature shows that the harder we push one way, the more push back we get.  Yet, adults willing to seek best action with least harm recognize that debate is futile.  People will only further entrench in their fixed beliefs as we try to change them, fix them, or get them to agree with us.  

To many, climate change, globalization and technology are accelerating at unprecedented rates.  Those who want to deny change often refer to those who want to face change as evil.  Those who want to face change often refer to the deniers as uneducated.  In my experience, both references are inaccurate and damaging to the health of our society.  Our spiritual traditions have promoted the understanding that we’re all in the same boat.  We all know, deep in our hearts, that we all wish to live a happy, healthy life.  The difficulty comes in knowing and practicing this, aware that our harmful or neglectful actions and thoughts ultimately hurt us.  We can’t build walls to polluted air, nuclear radiation, to refugees fleeing certain death from failed, chaotic states, to ever increasing advances in technology, to an open world market, etc.  There are leaders today pushing the patriarchal notion that they will fix everything.  They claim they can stop change and frequently practice the art of denial.  Those leaning strongest to denying change or stop it are vulnerable to these claims.  They’ve invested in this line of belief much like the people who refused to believe the tonic they bought from a medicine man is worthless given an analysis of its contents.

The label “conservative” has been falsely given to those change deniers.  They promote fear to those who would otherwise seek understanding to inevitable change.  For me, a true conservative is one who wishes to slow entropy through responsible actions.  It’s far from holding rigid beliefs and practices to outdated thinking.  It’s making a human, kind response to rapid change.  It’s calling out greed and gluttony as actions causing great harm to humanity today.  A true conservative has a deep sense of stewardship to a culture’s people, placing a primary emphasis upon food, shelter, safety and sense of belonging to all peoples.  Today’s “conservatives” seemed to be locked into a solid “No” response to change and it threatens our future.  For me, I’m looking for strong leaders who recognize the need to face change with a strong “Yes” combined with willingness and ability to collaborate for actions best aimed to slow entropy.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics speaks to the inevitable entropy of all things.  We can say “Yes” to slowing this entropy, to collaboration for the common good, to participation in an educated democracy of and for the people.  Or we can continue to fight, to disengage, to complain, to let the “No” response dominate our approach to inevitable change.

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