VOTING FOR (SELF-) CHANGE
I long ago happily quit keeping up with celebrities, fads, and trends. I couldn’t tell you who’s hot on screen or in music, and I’m quite proud of that disciplined ignorance, a token liberation from marketers’ enslavement.
Only recently I finally also quit worrying about keeping up with changes in technology.
True, technology, morals, and entertainment change faster each year, a runaway avalanche sweeping foundations and reference points out from under our feet. Sure, at my age I find this rate of change a source of mild distress.
But compared to real change, I really cannot complain. I’ve never watched my city radically changed overnight by an earthquake or falling bombs.
I’ve never watched the TV programming change overnight to accommodate an occupying military force.
I’ve never changed my diet because of a famine.
So, change is relative, always challenging, always promoting personal growth, often to be feared, but not always. Change is simply the world reminding us it is out of our control. There’s not a bloomin’ thing we can do to avoid change, except temporarily hide from and deny it, which is surely the most dangerous response.
We do not necessarily have to embrace change. In fact, ignoring it is sometimes the most courageous course, something to keep in mind as body changes with age and health retreats before accumulated wear, tear, and toxins. But ignoring is not denying, as my ignoring the latest media personality in no way implies I deny the influence they wield over society.
It is through change that we are forced to choose our life priorities and values.
Who and what will we sacrifice from our daily life in order to remain up to date on the latest musical hits and media technology?
To what lengths will we go to get money and food when the changes of recession and drought leave us destitute and hungry?
So let us welcome change, from irritating fads to terrifying catastrophe, because in each inescapable personal choice of priorities that change forces upon us, we enter an opportunity to freely sculpt the very essence of our being.