Monday, May 18, 2009
The Inconvenience of Change: Growing Up
Remember the book Who Moved My Cheese? I bought it for my youngest son when he was 12, and insisted he read it. As he sat on the threshold of his teen-aged years, the boy had a stubborn and unwavering belief in one certainty of life: Change was bad. We're talking change of any kind - the furniture moved, the alarm set 15 minutes later than usual, the brand of bread in the pantry - all change was bad, and duly questioned. We did our best to lighten the load. We threw in new twists on old traditions from time to time (like buying a cut tree at Christmas instead of chopping our own). We sold the old couch. His grandmother moved. Oh, the horror.... Can you guess what has happened over ten years? The child who so resisted change - the one who grew up on pepperoni pizzas, chili dogs and smoked beef brisket - is (gasp) a vegetarian. He tours with a band, which means a different town/country/bed every night when they're on the road. He has studied at three different universities, in three different cities, in two different states. He is following his artist's heart wherever it leads. He is the King of Change. And it looks good on him. Very good. Change, it seems, turns out to be great. Imagine that. So now we laugh at the memory of a young boy who couldn't sleep if you moved his bed five inches - a kid who wouldn't order anything but chicken nuggets if we ventured to a new restaurant (I mean, really, how different can a chicken nugget be?). The fun is often tempered, though, by a nagging little push to evaluate our own well worn paths of routine - those untouchable comfort zones we sometimes let ourselves believe keep us happy. Is the thermostat set at 75 because that's where it's always set in summer months? Is the car the designated way to travel the half-mile to the post office because it just is? Are strawberries grown in Argentina chosen over peaches grown locally because strawberry pie is always on the Memorial Day menu? Peach cobbler - no way! Do you recycle like you should? Do you choose your feet instead of your wheels to get where you need to go from time to time? Do you support your local farmer by buying her fresh, organic produce? Do you use your financial, emotional, intellectual resources to improve the world, or do you assume someone smarter, richer, kinder will do that? As the tilt of the earth delivers the seasonal change in light and warmth and foliage to your piece of this planet, why not consider one or two new tricks for the old dog of your daily grind? If you need help, pick up a copy of New Day Revolution: How to Save the World in 24 Hours...or click over to Life Without Pants if more compelling arguments are needed. Warning: If you delve any deeper, you may be reminded that YOU should be the change you want to see in the world. Breathe. Change is good. Peace.
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