Invite, embrace change in our lives, our world
Happy New Year—finally! It began for me with the Solstice and a gladdening to see the length of daylight grow. For some, a new year is a time for resolutions that include diets and exercise programs that seem to fade and eventually dissipate. For others, the year might present itself as a time of transition from one level of life to another.
By the end of 2008, things will look very different across the county, state, nation, and world. Some changes will be most welcome, such as the impending close of the Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue. Others are very much a crapshoot at this point.
For example, in the county we should know the final decision with regard to the I-70 Corridor. The internecine war among citizens on Floyd Hill and in Idaho Springs as well as the insurgency of St. Mary’s locals against the county and the Coors-Udall Alliance might be resolved. The Lake Front development in Georgetown might become a reality with a sprucing up of the eyesore along the lagoon.
Across the state, nation, and world, the issues are legion. Will we have the good sense to address the problems that are leading us to climate catastrophe? Will we have the good sense to say NO! to all forms of religious fundamentalism? Will the economic schism between the uber-rich and the rest of us continue to grow unabated? Will children’s health and lives continue to be sacrificed in the name of HMO corporate profits?
Change at times comes about after careful planning, but at other times it presents itself as an unexpected and unwelcome guest who takes over and refuses to be ignored. A metaphor that serves in imagining the process of life is that of climbing a rock-faced mountain or cliff to its highest point. The question that one confronts after achieving the assent is “Where to next?” You have already got the summit and the descent cannot be done by retracing your steps.
The only way off the summit is to plunge, free dive into the surrounding ocean depths. Unfortunately, you didn’t think to bring a parachute, and besides, to use one is against the rules if one wants to reach the ultimate depths. What is required is a jump from the highest apex into the ocean’s depth descending into the realm of the subconscious.
Not everyone, however, is willing to make that fantastic leap, not so much as fear for losing his/her life, for that’s what it is not about, but for fear of the unknown. They are the ones who have the foresight to tote a parachute up the rock face: They build a portfolio that guarantees economic security and golf three times a week, that is, until the shoulder or hip gives out and in need of replacement. They’re also the primary target audience for ED and urinary control problem drugs.
They might fall into one of two Myer-Briggs categories: the ESTJ or the ISTJ—fact-minded, detail-oriented, systematic, stable, efficient, and conservative. For them, risk is something to manage and possibly eliminate rather than to experience. So with the parachute, they safely float to the ocean surface, but are not able to descend into her depths. They are, thus, denied knowing that which only deep-ocean aquatics know.
Life, as we know, does not always proceed along the course we planned. The question before us is “How would I deal with a sudden and dramatic alteration in my reality?” One second, a young family of four, while enjoying a night on the town, is plowed into by a drunk driver while crossing a street. The next second, the father faces the reality that he has lost his wife and two babies in the carnage.
A key factor in finding happiness or just coming to terms with the vagaries of life is to accept and embrace change, the one constant in life. Having the good sense to realize when it’s time to move on and having the good sense and grace to move on is an essential corollary to that.
Each of us, though, needs to ascertain when that time has arrived. There is no precise formula. Sonny Lubick, the most successful coach in CSU history, seems to have overstayed his welcome with the team’s plight steadily heading south over the past few years. Did Sonny reach his apex and spend his wad? Should he have been allowed to “leave on his own terms”? The CSU athletic director decided no.
Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, on the other hand, is not content on having secured all the records for quarterbacks. At forty-something, he’s trying to prove there is a Fountain of Youth as he drags his rag-tag Packers towards the Super Bowl. Will he make it? If so, should he hang on another year in what is assuredly a younger man’s game? If he doesn’t—the same question.
In cosmic time, each of us is hardly a blink of an eye. In context of the worst possible scenarios for the world, from the melting of the polar ice caps, causing sea levels to inundate major coastal population centers, to a nuclear holocaust brought on by religious fundamentalists determined to bring about Jihad or Armageddon and the Second Coming, the size of one’s portfolio or golf handicap matters naught.
What will matter is whether we tried to resist and deny change. That would be futile. The only option is to embrace it and by make good sensible choices to make this, county to world, a better place. For until word gets to us of another uninhabited Earth-like planet within reasonable time and distance, this is all we got, and who we’re with are all we got.