Often to our dismay, change is imminent. An uncontrollable force of the future, change often leaves us worried about what is to come. But although we can guess and plan, we do not know what the future holds. It’s common to feel trapped when we cannot see what lies ahead. However, although change is scary, it is also refreshing and can bring great relief when it happens. Sometimes, even if change is dreaded, delayed and avoided, when it does eventually and inevitably happen, one realizes it has brought about better things than were hoped for.
Even things that may seem bad can affect good change. Embarrassment and failure are opportunities for growth. Our most painful moments can become the memories that push us to greater strength, knowledge, understanding and, depending on the circumstance, virtue. But change is rarely viewed in a positive light.
At the University of Dallas, where students are rarely progressive, change is not often lauded as something to expedite or eagerly anticipate. But I often marvel when I think back at how my friendships with people I barely ever expected to know have grown over the past years.
But if change can do so much good, why is it so often faced with fear and dread?
Perhaps it is a natural human desire to preserve things—especially when things are good or at least not that bad. And indeed, our desire for preservation against time is what gives rise to traditions that last beyond living memory. Tradition reminds us that change and time are not necessarily destructive.
However, preservation should not get in the way of growth.
In our time, youth is glorified and plastic surgery is becoming more and more popular among many people who would rather not be reminded of how much time has passed. A wrinkled and drooping face is not just less attractive than it was at twenty, but it is also a sign that change has taken place.
But a face that has changed after years of living and learning is not necessarily ugly. Perhaps it would be better not to equate age with ugliness. The natural life cycle of a human is not a deformity; nor does it need to be fixed.
Memories and future plans can be a consolation and a joy, and living in the moment is difficult because it is neither fixed nor certain. Being able to be truly present and allow events to flow and enjoying them as they do, however, instead of constantly looking backwards or forwards, can be a good exercise.
With change, the seasons return and fortune ebbs and flows, but one can always be learning more and improving oneself despite circumstance. Even the final change, from life to death, does not have to be dreaded. With hope, our passage from this life to the next will be peaceful and bring us to eternal bliss.