Recently I was visiting San Francisco's academy of science museum with my sister and nephew. He hates change - so much so that when my sister got new bedroom furniture for him a couple of years ago, he couldn't sleep for a week. As much as he wanted to visit San Francisco he complained about sleeping in a different bed in a different house. My sister just got a new car and he was worried about displacing the old one. That's just for starters, but you get the idea.
On the floor of the exhibit was a quote by Darwin stating that those who survive are not the fittest or the most intelligent but the ones that are the most adaptable. I asked my nephew to read it - not making any other comment since he's 13 and needs to draw his own conclusions, but at least I could introduce him to the concept.
I think most people don't like change. It's much more comforting to deal with the known rather than the unknown. So how do we embrace something that takes us out of our comfort zone? Consider waking up each more anticipating the newness of the day ahead. What if we could set up our day getting excited about all the unknown events we are about to experience in this new day. Giving thanks for our ability to love and adapt to whatever comes our way. The Wright brothers. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs and countless others were certainly visionaries and they showed us that thinking outside of the box, adapting and changing is what enabled them to created change that benefited the world. We don't have to change the world,but we can start with the way we think about change. We can move out of anxiety and fear to the excitement of possibly discovering something new that we would never know if we weren't able to expand our thinking. 'Change is good' is a simple catch phrase that can help us to move forward to not only accept but embrace change.
Another element to consider is that often we see change in the worst possible scenario. Why do we do this? I'll give you a recent example in my life. I am currently living in an area of hawaii with a lava flow about to come through the town. If it stays on it's current path and crosses the highway and continues onto the ocean it could effectively block off access for thousands of residents to fuel, food, goods and services. Every single person I talk with thinks that the lava will continue and doom and gloom is the only story I hear. Of course newspapers are at the forefront of the fear campaign and fuel the fire - no pun intended!
I refuse to get caught up in the doomsday predictions that surround me. Change is upon us, but what are the opportunities this change will bring? Already two new access roads have been completed. Another access road in another direction is under construction. The electric and water companies are working on ways of keeping connectivity. Our president just signed a disaster relief bill to help fund these projects and to help us remain a functioning society. All of these solutions have been sorely needed in case of just such a situation but now that 'impending disaster' is upon us all of these necessary actions are now underway. These are all great things! The truth us that we don't know the Big Picture and it is very possible that what seems to be disastrous is actually a blessing in disguise. What if this produced a way of dealing with a lava flow that is new and exciting and brings our area greater prosperity than ever before?
I am taking this opportunity to view these changes as elements of new and exciting possibilities for Pahoa. Long live Puna! I'd rather think about the possibilities for good rather than all the ways we could lose out of our way of live. Yes, change is upon us and we know not what these changes will bring, but I for one am hopeful that a bright and prosperous future is upon us.
The official word from the Hawaii Civil Defense is that the lava has stopped flowing in this direction (which has been towards in the eastern side of the island) and no longer poses a threat to the community. We breathe a collective sigh of relief