Canute by Peter Jackson CanuteLLKing Canute by Peter Jackson(no, not that Peter Jackson; the other Peter Jackson)

There are four ways to deal with change:  Embrace it, accept it, fight it, deny it.

The people who embrace change do so for obvious and logical reasons:  They see change as an improvement.  Most people who embrace change are not naïve enough to think change will go smoothly all the time, or that it won’t create a whole new slate of problems, or that it is so permanent and immutable and perfect that it will be impossible for change to occur again in the future.

But change will be an improvement over the way things are, and if things as they are seem intolerable, then change is the only logical / viable option.

Those who accept change also do so for logical reasons:  It’s going to happen regardless so one might as well accommodate one’s self to the new order.  They, too, aren’t naïve enough to believe there won’t be any rough spots; however, they see the rough spots as things that will have to be endured or dealt with and just philosophically prepare themselves for it.

Accepting change doesn’t mean one necessarily likes the change, or that one thinks the change is a good idea. It’s just a recognition of facts and an acceptance of reality.

Those who fight change often have obvious and logical reasons for doing so:  Anything new is apt to create problems, and entering into unexplored territory promises the devil one doesn’t know over the devil one does.  A lot of time the pre-existing order has much to recommend it, and oft times something good and important is lost when all of the old is swept out to make way for the new.

But those obvious and logical reasons can also involve selfish motives, malign motives.  The glutton doesn’t want to give up any of his food even though it would only improve his health and save the lives of starving people.  The junkie -- be she addicted to coke or money -- doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as she scores.  The privileged howl at others being treated equally because it makes them feel their status has somehow been diminished even though nothing negative has occurred to them.

But the people who fight change do it because they know the stakes involved. As long as there is a chance for victory, as long as there is a chance the status quo will be preserved, they will fight for it.

But the moment the game is lost…well, then they become accepters.  They may not like it, they may grumble and bitch about it incessantly, but they will accept the reality and deal with it if for no other reason than it would be self-defeating to continue the fight.

The ones who really take a beating are the deniers:  The ones who for purely irrational reasons refuse to acknowledge change.  Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s a combination of that and more, but for whatever reason they refuse to acknowledge change when it faces them and -- more disastrously -- refuse to acknowledge change after it has occurred.

They cling to their cherished preconceptions in the face of change. They continue acting as if change has not occurred.

They’re like people who park into the middle of a railroad crossing when the gates are down.

Somehow it’s the train’s fault for clobbering them.

animated harold lloyd car vs train

 

 

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