4. Life Is Change

Life is change

Heraclitus of Ephesus, the Greek philosopher, said that some 2,500 years ago.

You can't argue with it. We all live, and we all experience change. Every single day. We change. Other people change. The entire world changes.

I think it's fair to say the world has changed more than most of us wanted this past few months.

Sometimes change punches us in the face, sometimes it happens by stealth. But happen it does; constantly.

Change both frightens and excites us. We can see it as a blessing or a curse. We hate change and yet we love it at the same time. Even if we don’t want to admit it. 

Because change makes us feel alive. 

What we really want is for things to remain the same but to change for the better. But the world doesn’t work like that, does it?

Look back over your life and think about the biggest changes that came along. I’m guessing you probably didn’t instigate them. I’m guessing that all sorts of shit happened that you didn’t want to happen. But I’m also guessing that, like me, with the benefit of hindsight, you’ll now see some of that shit in a fresh light. Maybe it doesn’t even look like shit anymore. Maybe it looks like one of the best things that ever happened to you.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says:

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.

Changes will come sure as the winds. We have no say in the matter.

It’s how we react to change that matters.

Back to the Greeks.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Socrates said that.

We can help the process by adding some change of our own. When these seemingly unwanted changes come along, we can change the way we think about those changes. Maybe even use them as a prompt to make some changes of our own.

The art of life is constant readjustment to our surroundings

Okakura Kakuzo said that.

At the start of this year we all had plans. Then everything changed.

We had every right to complain, to feel bitter, to wish things were different. But what happened, happened. It is what it is. 

I’ve been taking Socrates’ advice. I’ve been directing my energy into building the new. That’s why I’m posting this on a new website. That’s why I’m working hard on my writing.

Who knows what changes are yet to come.

I’ll leave you with these words from American author Robert Penn Warren.

If anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn't the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops, it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day. 

The game is still on. 

How will you play it?