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Change

The one constant in life is change.

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once remarked (paraphrased), ‘​No person ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and they’re not the same person.​’

Every day is a new day. Change happens, whether we choose to accept it or not. We tend to accept the small day-to-day changes relatively easily. They barely register and we adjust accordingly. It’s the big, dramatic changes we least expect, that catch us off guard and upend our lives. These are the changes we struggle with, that leave us anxious and confused, and sometimes even depressed and grief-stricken.

Such change isn’t necessarily bad, for it can be an opportunity for growth if you let it.

The accomplished photographer, Daniel Milnor, who became debilitated after developing Lyme disease, spent six grueling years of treatment, wondering at times if he’d live or die. Today he feels 90% better. He is at last reclaiming his energy and life. 

Upon reflection, he states that he doesn’t regret his Lyme disease because he believes it has changed him into a better person. It shattered his past paradigm and forced a new perspective on life. One he appreciates more and one he wouldn’t have developed otherwise.

Too often there is a natural desire to return to the former ‘normal’ we thought we knew, because we’re unsettled by the changing present, unbeknownst the former ‘normal’ no longer exists because it has changed too.

This is where we find ourselves in 2020. The former ‘normal’ no longer exists. The so-called status quo is gone. Change is happening on a big scale, challenging us to our very core, forcing us to examine who we are as a person, as a community, and as a citizen of the world.

Rahm Emanuel once said, ‘​You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.​’

Rather than waste our energy fighting this change, which is inevitable, let’s redirect our energy, harnessing it for good. Harness it for the good of all humanity and for the good of Mother Earth that sustains us.

Let’s not waste this opportunity, remember the past, but reimagine the future. It’s an opportunity to do things we didn’t think we could do before, both individually and collectively.

Embracing individual change is life altering. Embracing collective change is world altering.

Now is the time to embrace both.

Daniel Christofferson

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