The High Wire Act of Change


          It is Monday after Mother’s Day.  Is everybody hung over from buckets of mimosas? Did everybody do Jell-O shooters with their grandma or Jäger shots with their kids? What? That’s how we celebrate the wondrous day that acknowledges the magic of Moms. After many cups of coffee, we have decided to dedicate this week to Change. Change is defined as becoming different or a metamorphosis. Change is often met with apprehension, anxiety and blatant defiance. Our favorite reaction to change is something like the response that Godzilla would get when he was really pissed.

          Lee says: As I have mentioned before, my parents immigrated to this country from Cuba. To be even more accurate, my parents fled Cuba because my Dad was a big-mouth, anti-communist who had been arrested several times and narrowly escaped being executed. Funny thing is that when he tells the story of being arrested and waiting for the firing squad, he focuses more on the smell and lack of toilets. He recounts the harrowing tale and always ends it with ‘…and the smell was so bad I threw away all my clothes when I got home’. This could very well explain my obsession with physical cleanliness. 

          What my brave parents taught me was that there are two ways of seeing life. Either we embrace uncertainty and change or we run from the different and demand the status quo. A person is never all or nothing. In some areas of life this person may take risks and in others they are paralyzed with fear. For example, you can be a tiger in the board room but a complete lamb in relationships. Risks provide us opportunity to change and change provides the opportunity to grow. Fear, however, closes you to openings. My father’s reaction was that of the tiger who gave himself to the cause of being an anti-revolutionary. He made change his bitch.

          You may know some people who avoid change. These are people of routine. These individuals are not unlike people who are tortured with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Everything is in order. Nothing out of place. Change causes severe anxiety. But, unlike those with OCD, these people do not get to the point of believing the world will end if the door knob is not turned 12 times followed by knocking on the door. These people fear something very basic.

          Human beings are simple. We really have only a couple of things that we need to survive. Take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: 

I seem to be stuck at the food need.

          As we move up on the list we need less of it. So anything that may upset the flow of the bottom three, causes considerable stress. Change could signal a drop in safety or even physiological comfort. If your needs are met, then rocking the boat could leave you vulnerable to experience a scarcity of these needs which could cause discomfort, depression and complete life disruption. It’s kind of like a trapeze artist who just swings back and forth and never releases the bar to go for another. You can’t move up and on without letting go.

          Change is in everything and is the healthiest choice people make. Like in everything, you can choose change or life will force you to change. I prefer to choose change since there are few things that I like being forced to do. Or at least I pretend to not liking being forced to do it.

          Paul says: I have been or am an engineer, computer consultant, teacher, realtor, building contractor, quality assurance director, CFO, and writer. It took me ten years to get my bachelors’ degree because I kept taking classes outside of my field. I think that it would be an understatement to say that I like change. I thrive on change. I do not know where I got this from since I was not passed down from my parents. My family is more of a ‘change is bad and always put upon you’ kind of people. I look for change.

          I have heard the words, ‘you do not want to eat that’ on numerous occasions from restaurant servers whose menus had sections that could not be translated. I have had some great experiences and wonderful stories but I have to admit that, in almost every case, the server was right. I didn’t want to eat it.

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