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Bon Journal

Resistance to change

We grow up expecting that everything is static, certain, and permanent. It's a secure feeling we carry with us from the womb. Indeed, our parents reinforce that expectation by providing stability, continuity, and comfort.

And yet when we're let loose in the world, we learn painstakingly that the world is not at all certain. It is far from static and permanent. In fact, change is the only certainty - some would say. And things don't always turn out the way you expect.

Initially to deal with this uncertain world, I went with the flow. I embraced change. Better yet, I welcomed it wholeheartedly. I sought change where no change was needed. But I could not understand why certain people consistently opposed my change proposals. People showed their resistance to change in different ways. Some dragged their feet. Others stuck their heads in the sand like ostriches. Still others pretended to agree but did absolutely nothing.

After years of changing jobs, moving house, shifting continents, I find myself desiring the peace of a stable, secure, and permanent homebase. It is comforting to return home. It is pleasant not having to change. Routine used to be repetitive and boring, but at least it doesn't change. You don't have to make decisions and perform scenario analysis. You don't have to be alert for the possible outcomes and prepare different ways to react against them.

Did I become resistant to change after a long period of actively pursuing change? Would I have become change embracing at this time in my life if I had earlier been change resistant? I don't know the answer to these questions. But I do take tremendous pleasure in not having to look for another place to live or another job. It's nice to just stick with it and enjoy the ride.

1 September 2001