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Change is All Around and In Us

Have you noticed how many things change in your life on a daily basis until they become part of the landscape and we can't remember what it used to be like?

Just driving around town can make that point in a big way. A big field on the outskirts of town has become a large square filled with new businesses that now seem to be right in the centre of the shopping district. We notice that kids down the street are home for spring break from university or your teenage babysitter is the head cashier at the local grocery store. Not to mention that your bank manager used to mow your lawn but now knows every detail of your financial portfolio.

These are the changes that we relate to the passage of time and they are constant and encompassing.

What about the changes that happen on the inside? Those close to us have their own front-row seat to how we are changing and adapting to the world- or not!

Sometimes we can get out of sync with what is going on around us and that has the potential for getting in the way of enjoying life.

The popular Seventies TV show 'All in the Family' made this point very well. The man of the house, Archie Bunker, was a guy who was stuck in the past and determined to stay there. Each week his family members tried desperately to pull him into the present and leave behind his biases and his dated operating style.

As tough as it was, changes did occur. The impetus for Archie's change was new experiences. At one point a black family moved next door and Archie had to face the fact that his prejudice was unacceptable and harmful to himself, reluctant as he was to face it.

One of the key principles of change is to recognize and acknowledge that it is needed. This seems pretty logical but it is often not easy.

Humans have a particular propensity for not seeing the truth about themselves. We do two things on a regular basis: we misrepresent the facts or we omit them, both of which have the result of keeping us from getting to the core of who we are and why we do the things we do.

Archie regularly misrepresented the truth by presenting his assumptions as fact. Do you recognize this ploy? We do it because, if someone buys it, we can avoid for a little bit longer having to make those really tough changes in attitude or action.

What we are talking about here is denial, which goes hand-in-hand with defensiveness. Denial extinguishes possibilities and that's something none of us can afford. Defensiveness blocks the recognition that change is needed. Do you need to make a few changes to get into the 21st century?