Change: the big and small struggles of life

Road to change

Almost daily, it seems, I’m amazed at how change is such a huge part of life. I guess I shouldn’t be, since change happens when the sun rises and sets each day. We are one day older each day than we were the day before.

We make change a big thing when we react to it, too. And a lot of times, that reaction isn’t all that positive. From political campaigns to our seemingly insignificant personal lives, when we see something have a different outcome, or hear or read something someone said that seems almost out of the blue, it’s change we’re seeing.

Change can be a good thing, sometimes even a very good thing. But maybe only for you or me. When it’s good for the vast majority of people on this planet, it’s extremely rare. Because there are two sides to every story and a reaction to every action. When something changes, other things change. And those other things may negate the positive things others favor. At least in some minds.

I’m getting pretty esoteric, aren’t I? What prompted my thoughts were several things, on a personal and public level: The ongoing presidential campaign and associated comments and actions by the candidates, the death of Muhammad Ali on the larger stage.

More and more, it’s looking to me like this presidential campaign will reach new levels of personal attacks, what I’d consider less-than-presidential-material comments and attitudes and a continued denigration of the office that used to mean much more.

Ali war quoteReading and listening to the stories about Ali’s life in and out of the boxing ring and the accounts of his actions on a social level caused me to look hard at where we’re at today in those areas. So often, it seems we haven’t progressed at all, even moved backwards as an accepting and welcoming society. Which makes people like Ali and other socially conscious and active people so admired by so many others.

There has been progress, certainly. On the surface, quite a bit. But when you look at the reactions to some comments and actions made by the presidential candidates, I can certainly see how far we have yet to go as an accepting and tolerant society.

On a personal level, I’ve again realized how hard it has been for me to accept change in my professional life. My chosen profession of journalism is in dire straits, although my attraction and desire to continue working in it remains strong. My heart wants me to focus on the field I like to think I know well, have mastered enjoyed. But my mind says run as far as fast as you can.

For some time, I thought my mind had won the argument and I was headed in a good direction. Then a potential opportunity to resume my journalism career presented itself. While I don’t know with certainty if it will pan out, it re-lit my fire and passion for all the positive things journalism meant and still means to me.

Reasons vs change

So now I’m somewhat confused. Should I march boldly forward into some new arena, learning new things and acquiring new skills and direction? Or do I use the (I think) admirable skills, knowledge and experience I have to again plunge into what I know, but which has a murky future, to say the least? Do I want to change or not? Shouldn’t I want to progress, as I constantly hope society and humanity will do? Can I be as accepting of personal professional change as I strive to be with the world at large?

Or am I more content with the comfortable (kind of), the familiar and something that I feel I might have more control over? I guess my questions are not new; likely every thinking person has pondered them in some form or another at sometime in their lives. They’re before me now, though.

As I try to sort them out, I hope to have optimistic and positive responses and outcomes. Or at least work hard in those directions. The journey of life continues, in so many ways, shapes and forms.

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