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But we’ve always done it this way! How often have you heard this? I hear it daily and it makes me crazy! Why? Because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Was he saying that people who are incapable of “thinking outside the box” are stupid or ignorant? No, I believe that he was saying that they are prisoners of precedent; journeymen on the beaten path of life unable to deviate from the familiar, the safe and the comfortable.
If that is how one chooses to live that is their choice. It might be a rather hum-drum life however, because the beaten path holds little adventure or drama. It’s safe but rather boring I should think. It is also the death knell of societies and institutions.
The only real constant in the Universe is change. As the Bible tells us, “as above, so below” which means that the laws the govern the Cosmos also govern life on Earth. Evolution is the natural order of all things: living beings, ideas, mores, societies, institutions and civilizations. Those who refuse to evolve die!
The Koala Bear is a fine example of a charming, cuddly little creature that shows no ability to change or evolve. It spends its entire life in a Eucalyptus tree and eats only Eucalyptus leaves, even drawing its water from them. When the “gum trees”, as the Aussies call them, die so will these cute little bear like rodents. With climate change a certainty, change in all areas of life is no longer optional.
Humans are perhaps the only creatures on Earth not bound by precedent. We don’t have to live in one place and eat one thing. We don’t have to think the same thoughts as our ancestors, have the same beliefs, or follow the same outmoded moral code. We don’t have to worship Deity the way our distant cousins 2015 yeas ago did.
We can write a new chapter, film a new movie, create a new way of life. Yes, change can be scary and disruptive and it’s no wonder that many of us are frightened by the lightening fast changes in our culture, our way of life and in our world. Many of us succumb to the “Golden Age Syndrome” as we fixate on a time or place when things were idyllic and life was perfect. We want to go back to an era that never existed, except in our mind’s eye.
There is an old saying that says: “you can’t go home again” and its true. Oh, yes you can literally move back to the old neighborhood but its not the old neighborhood anymore is it? The houses have been torn down or been renovated; the people no longer look just like you, and it just doesn’t feel like the neighborhood of your youth. I just experienced this feeling touring the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of my youth. Dore’ was no longer at home there.
The 50’s are often cited as the “golden age” of America. The G.I.’s came home by the millions in a matter of months in late 1945 and 1946 into a society suddenly thrust from a war footing to civilian life again. Nothing was available during the war; cars, appliances, tires, fuel, meat, all sorts of consumer goods were rationed or not available.
If you had a pulse you had a job; every factory was being retooled for civilian production and most jobs were union jobs with high wages and lush benefits. Post War America was a different world in which the USA was the only major industrial power never to feel the horrors and destruction of war, we were safe behind our oceans, we had “The Bomb” and were the masters of the world.
For some it was a golden age, but not so much if you were not of European descent. Prejudice was rampant in the 50’s of my youth. There were slur names for almost every nationality, even the White ones! A Catholic marrying a Protestant….scandal! A Jew moved in down the block or worse yet Hispanic or what we called Negros, when being polite! Wow, you could watch the For Sale signs bloom like dandelions on the lawns. Some Golden Age! More like the Age of judgement, conformity and sameness. And I grew up in Los Angeles; imagine life in New Orleans, Dallas or Atlanta in 1950!
You see, we just can’t stand still in this thing called life. There was a wonderful little book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” which became required reading in Corporate America. The lesson of this book is that if you are a mouse and the cheese moves, you best move to another supply of cheese or starve. Those who cling to the past are doomed, in the final analysis.
Change is the natural order of things, it is the way the Great Architect renews and refreshes His/Her Creations. Perhaps the way you always did it was not the best way. Have a new thought, try a new way. You just might surprise yourself and begin a whole new life full of joy, discovery and growth.
Until we are together again…..Remember, your life is the Life of God, your Love is the Love of God, your Mind is the Mind of God.
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian
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