Views on politics and current events

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Random Thoughts On Change

We were all bombarded with the promise of change for this country in the last presidential election, but the radical change we hoped for isn't going to happen overnight, if ever. Not with Obama, not with anyone else elected within our system of big money politics.

But how many people are really ready for the type of change that may be necessary, I wonder? I once did some in-house training for the steel mill I worked at before it shut down. I was asked to develop the training and present it. I learned more than the people taking the class,as was often the case whenever I did any training. I learned that many people, I daresay the majority of people are set in their ways. Habit is a strange thing, for even the most inefficient action if performed often enough can become a habit. Once it is a habit, humans can get a sense of comfort by repeating it, no matter how wrong-headed it may be. And bad habits seem much easier to acquire than good ones. So it went with the people that were in the class. I trained classes of union employees, lower, middle and upper management employees, and it was pretty much the same. most thought that what they were doing personally was good, hence they didn't need to change. It was those OTHER people that needed to change.

There is a saying that goes, "If you continue to do what you've always done, you'll continue to get what you've always got." If you're getting what you need, then it makes sense to continue on the same course. If you aren't getting what you need, you need to change your course of action. But the false comfort of habit overrules the necessity of changing time and time again. That goes in varying degrees and with differing people with politics, personal relationships, money, religion, you name it. There are a ton of people in this country it seems that ignore what is in their best interest for the sake of maintaining the status quo, doing what they've always done, holding with tradition, creatures of habit, right or wrong. It is the fettering of human creativity and inventiveness caused by the rigid adherence of tradition and habit that may be one of the root causes of some of the reactionary responses to change.

I am not without some of the same feelings of comfort that can be derived from habit and tradition. But I have learned that whenever a major life-change has happened to me, it is an opportunity for growth, not fear. For hope, not despair. The older I get, it seems that for every door that closes, more than one door also opens. I do not like all the changes that have happened in my life, but after so many I've learned to go with them instead of against them.

I don't embrace change for the sake of change, but change for the sake of improving humankind. My life has forced me to be the opposite of reactionary. There are some things to be sure that still work and are viable. But there are sure as hell many things that aren't. Those are the things that need to change. Change is far from the dirty word some make it out to be. Change is necessary, or there is no progress. Without progress, the inequities, injustice, taking of life through unnecessary war, and all the negatives that plague our modern world will never cease.

We need change in our government. In the system, in those that are elected to lead us, in those that elect them, in the population in general. A mindset that embraces change that makes the lives of human beings better is a positive, not a negative. Putting such a high value on the profit motive does not make the lives of the majority of human beings better. Not in this country, or the world.

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