I love change. I am addicted to the idea that everyone can learn, change, and doing something greater in the future. I believe change can be useful and helpful to organizations, institutions, and our souls. In my younger days, I would drive to see change if only for the sake of change. I was certain change was the key to future success.
With time (time and gray hairs), I no longer hold change as I once did. I still believe we have an opportunity to learn and grow. I am hopeful that institutions and individuals, myself included, will seize the windows that come their way. I also know that not all change is helpful. At times, we need to survive. On other occasions, we are simply not ready. Change opens up a vulnerability that can cripple.
It is easy to look with a critical eye. Project leaders should want to strengthen their programs. Good managers are be looking for ways to improve. Change will be a given in our lives. However, the reaction of a historical figure is often the same as mine.
“As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him. ‘That’s enough for today. I’ll call you back when it’s convenient.’” (Acts 24.25)
A raw nerve met the hand of change. It was instantly painful. It was immediately difficult. It was difficult to metaphorically open up this box.
I do not have answers on how to deal with change. I offer the following as suggestions.
Change flourishes best in the presence of compassion and empathy. Unless we are sensitive to the idea that change can be difficult, it is unlikely to happen.
Change is always easier for the other than it is for the self. We can see in others what we refuse or are unable to see within ourselves.
Change happens best in a community that knows trust. Change takes more than one.
Living invites change.