It’s a paradox. To achieve continuity, we have to be willing to change. Change is, in fact, the only way to protect whatever exists, for without continuous readjustment the present cannot continue. Even the great conservative, Edmund Burke, realized this, for he said that “a state without the means of some change is without the means of its continuation.”[footnote not included] The refusal to change will not guarantee that whatever we care about stays the same. It only assures that whatever we care about has been deprived of the very thing it needs in order to survive. A marriage, a career, a dream for the future, even a picture of the past: Each of these things is being primed for destruction if it does not change over time.
Here is another paradox: The very things we now wish that we could hold onto and keep safe from change were themselves originally produced by changes. And many of those changes, in their day, looked just as daunting as any in the present do. No matter how solid and comfortable and necessary the status quo feels today, it was once new, untried and uncomfortable. Change is not the only path ahead, but it is also the path behind us, the one which we traveled along to wherever we are now trying to stay.
Change is a situational shift:
- Getting a new boss is a change, and so is receiving a promotion or losing your job;
- Moving to a different house is a change, and so is remodeling your house or losing it in a fire;
- Having a new child is a change for everyone in the family–including the new baby, who was pretty well situated before all the change took place;
- And, of course, losing a loved one is a change–a huge one.” William Bridges, “The Way of Transition“