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Embracing Change
Thu Dec 22 21:44:08 2005 | Prev | Next

Well, I am back again for a bit. I have both had a lot of time and not had much time at all lately. By that I mean that I have been working 10-12 hours a day or so for the last week (7 days, not 5) on a project at work, so I have been really busy, but for the other 5-6 hours a day I have (I have only been sleeping 5-6 hours a night...so back to normal), I have really not been doing anything. There is nothing on TV, there is no one really around, and of course I can`t drive anywhere. Add this to the fact that its just somewhat difficult to move around (I am used to it, but still strapping on crutches to go anywhere does add some time and effort) and I end up with lots of time on my hands, even while working so much. I have watched a lot of documentaries, I have read a lot of online news, I have worked on another slideshow (I need somewhere to host it, and then I can post the URL), and also had a lot of time to think about things.

One of the issues which has come up over the last 5 months or so that I have been thinking about is the concept of understanding and embracing who we are (and who others are) versus changing or encouraging change. This is a tough subject for me, because I see the benefits of both sides. I am a geek, there is not much changing that. I don`t really know if that will ever change. This has been a negative stigma in society for a very long time, to a certain extent it still is. However, the more that I have thought about it, I may as well embrace it and explore it if it is not going to change. I am comfortable with that state as well. This is true for me with many other traits as well. However, recently I have been discussing this concept with friends, and they have a different philosophy on this concept, and that is that it does no good just to understand something, but rather that you should try and change it if it bothers you. So being a geek is probably a bad example because it`s not something that bothers me, but it is an interesting example in that I know that it bothers others. Should I change who I am because its bothersome to others? I say no, but that`s just me. Do I develop a different mantra and philosophical outlook for things that also (or instead) bother me? Sure, it may sound good on the surface, but the problem I have is where to draw the line. I can be somewhat complex at times, where in the sand does the line get drawn for change versus understanding?

There are some who would call even this behavior of thinking about this "Analysis Paralysis." I tend to agree, but at the same time, I also see thought as fruitful. Actions are nothing without thought behind them. If I am capable of lots of thought to put behind my actions, then I feel I should do so.

Another aspect to this conversation also has to do with management style as well. I should and will not go into too much depth about this, but its interesting to apply the same thoughts above regarding others as a part of a management style as well. I know that its more common to embrace and understand than it is to try and impose change. Again, the same line in the sand comes into play as well. I don`t have any of the answers, I am just commenting about how interesting it is to think and talk about the subject.

I think that I have not come to any personal conclusions yet about any of this either. I am not sure that I will any time soon. I could listen too what everyone else says, but what good is that. Also when everyone is not saying the same thing, then that never works out very well, especially when its all against what I feel inside anyways.

So in this same vein, another thing I am thinking about is how to cope with those in my life who don`t see these choices or struggle, but simply apply pressure to change. I think that lately, this is one of the more difficult things to deal with from my friends, when there is so much pressure to change. Its almost counter productive with my personality, because I don`t usually react well to pressure. Not only that, but based on what I commented on above, the suggestions are even against what I feel is both in my best interest as well as in my nature. Sure, they have valid points in many cases, but there is not always a means to an end, there is only promise and pressure to an end. For now, I just let the experiences add more to my thought on the subject, but I will have to admit that as time passes (this is not a new subject) this gets harder to deal with.

So during my thoughts about this subject, I started looking at examples of some of my friends. I have some friends who have gone through amazing changes, and I actually envy them for that and am amazed by that as well. But as time passes, the question in my mind grows, did they really change? Or just move who they are around in their life and in society? If that`s the case, then is that really change? Does that really count? In this one case, there are definite health benefits, but at the same time for many of the other motivational and external factors, was there any change at all? I have heard this from others as well, so I don`t think I am way off base, but it just seems like that sometimes when people change themselves, they just change things on the surface so it looks like change even though nothing really changes.

Which goes back to my first point. Can we really change in the first place? Maybe its just pointless to change who we are deep down and anything will just be changes on the surface. Maybe its better to embrace and understand who we are so that the surface changes can fall in line to match best with who we are. In fact, I am pretty sure that is how I feel on the topic now. I say that its darn near impossible to really change who we are. We just change external and surface factors. But when we just change these to escape the previous ones, does that really do any good? Maybe its better to understand who we are in the first place so we can know where best to pick and place the external changes such that they have the best impact.

How to do this? I sure don`t have a clue. But in my perspective, at least understanding and thinking about it is a start. Then again...that`s my nature. :)

J.P.

Posted by: j.p.





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