It's Lowell's Turn: Are we addicted to change?
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
Imagine if you were forced to take a new route to work every day. What if the controls in your car all changed every day and you had to try to figure them out before you could drive? Imagine if you got to work each day and found that your tools or computer were all different and they changed your job duties. What if you came home from work each day and all the furniture was all moved around and there were new people in your house?
Some people like change, others, not so much. But constant, unwanted change is overwhelming and is enough to make anyone a little crazy.
Change is a part of life, and we all have to get comfortable with it if we’re going to be successful. The problem is, we live in a world that seems to be in love with creating never-ending change.
“Change is good” is the phrase we often hear when someone is trying to convince us that we should put time and energy into something new, when the old was already working perfectly fine. The implication is that there is something wrong with us if we don’t like constant change, like maybe we’re too old or don’t care about progress.
Lately, it seems like more often than not, change is becoming just for the sake of change. But change is not necessarily synonymous with progress or productivity. Sometimes it’s just to make someone temporarily feel good. Sometimes it means doing so much that you can’t do anything effectively. Often it means becoming less productive while you get used to a new system, which is then changed again just as you are actually getting productive.
For some people, change can become like a drug that they get addicted to. It makes them feel like they are accomplishing something, when really they are just staying busy to avoid the boring, old things that they really should be doing.
There’s so much emphasis placed on change nowadays, that we tend to forget about the value of stability.
Deep down inside, I think we all crave stability and familiarity. Even though we’re constantly being programmed to want change, most of us still eat the same types of foods, listen to the same music, drive the same way to work, sit in the same place in church and return to the same home every night.
Nevertheless, stability is not really that popular anymore. It’s sometimes seen as old-fashioned, boring and obsolete. There’s always something newer and better just around the corner.
Non-changing stability may be boring, but think of it as a foundation you build the rest of your life on. It keeps you from rocking from side to side from one thing to another. It keeps the smaller details in your life from collapsing or becoming more important than they should be. It means you stick with a few things that you think are important and make the best of them no matter what. It may even mean that at some point we quit trying to improve and just concentrate on living.
We can’t stop change, but that doesn’t mean we should look for more of it than is necessary. Sometimes the old and boring really is better, even if it isn’t the most efficient. Sometimes “good enough” really is good enough, even though it’s not the latest and greatest. After all, we don’t get good at things by changing them all the time, but by doing the same thing over and over.
Sure, there are times to shake things up and try something new. But then it’s important to go back to the old and familiar again, a place where we can be comfortable and where things are stable and unchanging.
“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.