Change means to make or become different. Other words for change can be alteration, innovation, transformation, modification, mutation, metamorphosis, difference or revolution. So the dictionary and thesaurus say. However, I believe it is much more than that. It often seems to be the unwanted guest luring over unfortunate people. Like a Dementor. ‘Everybody’s changing and that don’t feel right’ as Keane once put it. Quite often people fall victims to change, people who don’t run away from it fast enough. It seems as though, overall, it has very negative connotations, and before the lovely readers begin to get frustrated this is just a simple interpretation and observation of this strange world we live in.
In the past few months, I’ve been hearing a phrase that brought a certain displeasure to my ears: ‘you’ve changed’ or ‘you’re different’. It amused me how much discomfort a change can bring to people, and I thought about why this may be. Why are people so reluctant to accept change? Why is change perceived in such a negative way? Are people too lazy to change and to accept it? I think people are scared of the unknown and this leads them to struggle when loved ones around them aren’t the same as before. A baby for example; doesn’t know what’s normal or abnormal and so whatever they experience, they just simply accept and learn from it as they grow up. I think we could learn a lot from babies. Marianne Williamson once said: ‘It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us’ we are scared of the potential and talents we have, we are scared of our own greatness, of what we are able to become. We are scared of change. Change is not a monster that is lurking under your bed, it is an opportunity to open new doors and discover yourself, even if you think you know who you are.
Jay Gatsby; the main character in the classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a great example of change. Whilst you could say his platonic conception drove him towards the change that he had undergone, of leaving behind his family, changing his name, and becoming Gatsby himself, there is a certain change that he couldn’t make and so his past caught up leading to his tragic downfall (sorry for the spoiler everyone), lets learn from his mistakes and not ‘repeat the past’ or get caught up in it. Change is inevitable, let’s use it and embrace it to our advantage. Now, I’m afraid I’ll have to go philosophical, I just can’t resist. My favourite dude ever known as Plato was afraid of change, to the extent that he thought everything in the world was fake, because it changes, therefore it cannot be true or reliable. Heraclitus famously said: ‘you can never step into the same river twice’. Nice one mate, how deep. I think we all have a bit of Plato inside us. However, it is important to realise that there is no need to step in the same river, or always be the same and the belief that heaven or ‘the world of forms’ is unchanging doesn’t seem appealing to me, I prefer to stay in this world- ironically.
So often we come across people telling us they ‘never want us to change’ or we may even say it. But it’s not about avoiding change…it can be such a beautiful life changing experience. I know I have changed massively over the past few years, and I would never want to go back to the old ways, the aim is to surround yourself with people who will support you and not hold you back, people who will change with you. There aren’t limits to what we can do in this world, so aim for the moon so when you fall you land amongst the stars, and most importantly, change.
So don’t do a Kean, and be keen to change, (I’m sorry had to) who knows, it may be the start of a revolution.