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02-01-2008  |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Change is in the news these days.  For the Democrats, change seems to be the imperative now.  Change the ruling party in Washington, change the direction of the country, change the tone of government in general.  For the Republicans, it's a little more difficult to assess what change might mean.  Change President's, yes.  Change policies, not so sure.  Change the direction of the country, maybe, depending on which candidate you may support. It's a little funny to me, (not funny ha-ha) that change has moved from a threatening and potentially negative concept to a very very positive concept in a short time, at least for the Democrats.  Of course, change can exist on many levels. I was reading this morning on my Yahoo news about a 400 pound guy that finally decided to change the way he was living, since he was suffering badly from carrying around all of his extra weight.  He began to walk each day for an hour and adjust his diet by restricting his carbohydrates.  He literally walked off 100 pounds in seven months and utimately lost almost 200 pounds.  He was quoted as saying that he will never allow himself to ever gain the weight back.  We may tentatively conclude that he first, changed his mind about his eating and exercise habits, second, changed his behavior to be consistent with his mind change and third, changed his attitude to preclude falling back to his old condition.  Change, it seems, by it's very nature, requires consistency over time.  To achieve true change in anything, consistent follow through is a must. Change is challenging at best.  A rejoinder that is ringing in my ear right now is the oft-quoted, "be careful what you wish for." I agree with the sentiment of this notion because, change, being a process, sets in motion a number of things pertaining to that change which may spin out of your control and result in unintended consequences (sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse).  The issue with a candidate that runs on a platform of change is that no matter how clearly enunciated that idea of change might be, effectuating that specific change in a dynamic environment of competing visions for that change, will almost certainly result in something altered from the original.  And that may not be a bad thing.  But we don't know. However, many people riding on the bandwagon right now are likely setting themselves up for disappointment. Now we come to the point of expectations.  Because with change, there are expectations of what the change will be - will the change meet expectation, exceed expectation or fall short of expectation?  I believe this is the real rub.  If you knew what the result of the change would be, then you could make some kind of mental adjustment for it during the process.  But that is not possible, since the process is dynamic and the outcome of the change can't really be accurately predicted.  This, then, is the nature of our humanity and what confounds change and forces it to be exceedingly gradual, even when immediacy is dictated. (I'm thing about global warming here)  We want resolution, most of us don't really like surprises, we want to know what happens next.  This is hard. Look at the guy who decided to change his lifestyle in order to lose a vast amount of weight.  He set in motion a number of changes in his life that likely infringed on others.  He said so in this article.  He thanked his family for allowing him to be selfish.  To put his need to exercise for an hour each day or more, ahead of his children and his wife, who may have needed or wanted his company at that time.  What if his family had not gone along?  We might have thought ill of them, for not helping him to achieve better health, but they may have had their reasons, maybe even a few good reasons. They may have made the guy's decision difficult to implement, or guilt-tripped him, who knows?  The point is, the guy set his plan in motion, and at that moment, lost control of all of the variables that would contribute to his success.  He was lucky.  He had a great outcome.  Although to read the article, which states that he now exercises 2 to 3 hours a day, you might think that he has gone overboard and may be jeapardizing his family relationships with such a substantial dedication.  Maybe his wife is now thinking, be careful what you wish for. On the national level, change sounds good right now.  There's a lot of frustration and suffering out there that needs hope for the future.  Whether that hope for the future can become tangible to the individual in a reasonably short period of time remains to be seen.  We still have nearly a year left of the change we picked last time, twice.  We must be careful in what we wish for.    

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