The Ubiquitousness of Change

Posted on 03 November 2010

“Change has come to America.”

(President-Elect Barack Obama – Election Night, November 4, 2008)

In an election that will surely be deemed by future chroniclers as historic, Americans – just two years ago – selected Barack Obama to become their 44th President and first President to come from a racial minority.  Employing slogans including “Change You Can Believe In” and “Yes We Can,” Obama and the Democrat Party won a broad and decisive victory that confirmed the American public’s desire for change.  And, in the intervening 22-plus months since assuming the mantle of power, the Obama Administration and the Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress have instituted sweeping changes in areas from economics to military policy to healthcare.

In an election held just 24 hours ago that some are already dubbing as “historic,” a broad coalition of Americans from sea to shining sea again demonstrated their almost insatiable appetite for change; this time, a change from the changes instituted by Democrats and the Obama Administration.  Change, you see, can travel in multiple and often surprising directions.

And, while the political pundits analyze the results and pontificate on their significance ad nauseum, suffice it to say that change is and never has been a stranger to America or, for that matter, life.  Change does not need to be ushered in like theater-goers.  It is woven into the fabric of our collective national experience and our own personal lives.  It is a constant in a world that oft times seems chaotic.

Everyday, each of us ages – our bodies changing in subtle, often imperceptible ways.  We learn knew things and think new thoughts.  We initiate or cultivate relationships, affirm commitments, execute contracts, secure or lose employment, start and run businesses, invent new products, marry, divorce, and change in thousands of other ways.  Each year, we witness the splendor of autumn, barrenness of winter, and nature’s rebirth in the spring.  We mourn the passing of friends, family members, and acquaintances and joyously welcome new arrivals, for the newborn are truly representatives of change.  Embedded in their largely untapped potential is the hope that they will overcome the obstacles and seize upon the possibilities that have eluded us in our own lives.

Of course, change may be beneficial, neutral, or harmful and frequently lies outside our individual comfort zones.  Yet, it is a force that neither can nor will be stayed no matter how much we resist it.  Faced with the inevitable, one has limited choices – continue the futility of resistance, delude oneself into the belief that nothing has changed, or identify the beneficial aspects of change and embrace them.

With deference to the opinion expressed by our then President-Elect, change did not arrive in America in November 2008 or, for that matter, with the results of yesterday’s elections.  It always was and will be.  For those with the courage to accept it, it opens new possibilities and liberates us from outmoded thinking and behavior.  On the wings of change is born a new day carrying with it the hope that we can better our best, achieve new heights, and lay to rest old fears and prejudices.  At this time and in this moment, as at all times and in all moments past and future, we have the opportunity to build a better world.  Can we do it?  If we embrace change and open ourselves to the possibilities, our answer will be a resounding “Yes, We Can.” 

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