Big Change, Small Steps
Change Happens! In fact, it’s one of the few things we can count on. Everything is in constant flux and although we like to pretend otherwise with our steadfast routines, just look around and you will see it is undeniably true. Seasons change, kids grow up, friends grow old, as do we, and everything about us (hair, skin, minds) and the world around us (nature, technology, life, death) are always and forever in a state of transformation.
Most of these changes are beyond our control and will occur regardless of how we feel about it. The “Big Change” I refer to however, has everything to do with our behavior and arises more from a series of small, progressive steps, than one giant, eyes squeezed tight, mindless leap.
The big change most of us are facing right now is to learn how to foster a more caring, realistic and simple life. To grow a life as if from seed, filled with meaning not materialism, rich with humanitarianism not hatred, fluid with acceptance not absolutism.
We are faced with this incredible opportunity to put our current direction on pause – to regroup, reevaluate and re-prioritize our journey. Where are we going anyway? Do we even know? When’s the last time we checked? The opportunity before us is enormous. It probably only presents itself once in a century – maybe only once in a millennia. The opportunity that I speak of is not about “you & me,” (well, it is and it isn’t) but what it’s really about, is “us”, all of us, the entire global population, and in fact, our civilization.
This pause, or forced restructuring of economies, is causing everyone to rethink their lives. Some people in the not so far corners of the world are worrying about their survival and whether or not their skill in the rice fields will be transferable to road repair – or any job at all really, as long as they can eat. Sometimes, their only goal in any given day is to eat! Others are rethinking their 401K’s and whether or not they can buy that new car, take that hard-earned vacation, or maybe even one day, retire. Some are even rethinking whether or not they can hold onto that second or third home they have…..you know, the one they go to once or twice a year?
Yes, I am painting a picture of great economic disparity because after all, that is the point. All of this disparity, this suffering, this separation of classes and races, this elitism, materialism, Nationalism – all these “isms” are the point. Is this what we are wanting? Is this how we care for our human race? Are we better than them? Are they better than us? Are their economies so tied to our inane and superfluous behaviors that when we fall they fall too? What are we doing? Is it good? Have we checked? And if not, how do we change? How do we slow the momentum of decades of decadence? And how do we begin to shift our behavior from desperation and fear to generosity and equanimity? How and when do we realize that we have – enough?
We stop. We pause. We feel! We reevaluate and redirect. We watch, we ask questions, and we listen. We lay a well crafted plan. We exercise sound and caring judgment. We “intend” with all our heart. We ask for guidance. We pray. And then, we gracefully and assuredly move into our new lives one small step at a time.
“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ” —Kahlil Gibran
Note: My next several blog posts will focus on “Big Change through Small Steps”. We will begin with You: your home, your job, your behavior, your choices, then we will expand outward into the community and beyond. Please join me for this insightful and progressive journey, won’t you?