A friend of mine reminded me not long ago that according to Einstein, ”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How true that is. We have a tendency to hold on to procedures that long ago worked, but no longer do.
We tend to make plans and base future projects based on feasibility data grounded in the past.
Would you be able today to buy a bottle of milk and flour to make the daily bread and go on with a routine out of the 1950’s? Probably not. There is no road to the past, even if we think that native people were right in many things, there is no way of going back. But there is room for meaningful change.
Facing change brings out our deepest fears. We fear that after getting somewhat used to the rhythm of daily life, becoming used to always working and working to buy and buy and having obtained a social status, and certain financial level, we will lose it all. The danger of that brings us close to chaos.
It is very frustrating to have learned all the right ways to improve our lives, and suddenly the rules no longer work. I believe that is the case for recent graduates, and even for established workers who, due to the recession, which has altered the ways in which people are hired and how much they earn, suddenly see themselves as participants in an entirely new game.
Is it reasonable to think that the way business was conducted for many years was going to last forever, even though countries have evolved and are no longer accepting impositions from outside? The way trade was done for the past century is that third world countries, usually ruled by the elite doing business with US or Europe, would subject themselves to what was dictated by the lending countries. Lately, those same countries have started to realize that it is their very concrete goods that creates the ‘paper’ wealth of the ‘first world countries’. The burst bubbles in most ‘advanced’ countries have made it evident that their wealth was a paper trail and they do depend on the oil, food and even medicines from the ‘poor countries’.
Locally we see that those who are closer to agriculture can do a better job of supporting themselves that the bearers of fancy diplomas. Nature’s daily lesson of change in order to live is a call to look at us, our fears, our anchors, and assume a new perspective in life.
We can give ourselves the chance to appreciate what we did not see before in friends, family, food, and entertainment. If you look back can you see that favorites from childhood are not the same as those of adolescence or later on? In those instances you did not notice change, even though it was part of the physical aspect of growing up. When did you stop growing up? When did your way of life become a stagnant routine? Did the hamster-like cycle of work-consume-work trap you?
Is it time now to dare change and make your own plans instead of letting others decide your life? Do you decide what kind of work you want to do; how much you need to earn? And after you had to give up unnecessary items you were used to before, did that enhance your life? Do you enjoy greater freedom now because of the forced changes you had to assume? Can you let go of other unnecessary stuff in order to have a more fulfilling life?
I will close with a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
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