Friday, June 17, 2011

I Like Change

I try hard to see things from other people’s points of view. I do. When I get too wrapped up in my own indignation, I try to remember that my point of view isn’t the only one, or even the only legitimate one. But there is one area where I struggle with this and I can’t seem to put myself in another’s shoes: I like change.

Not all change. Some change is bad, or sad. Not often, but even I am susceptible to nostalgia at times, but generally change in exciting. There are a lot of great options and things to try in this world and if you never change, you never get to experience them. While I am far from a physical daredevil, the fact that I have never tried something is a perfectly valid reason to pursue it. I like to try a million different ideas and see which ones stick. We won’t even go into what I think of cooking the same meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. Most change is not scary, but an adventure.

Most people I know do not share this same attitude and that is frustrating. I often feel like I am being prevented from trying great things for no better reason than other people don’t want to change or try anything new. This trend is coming into play within our fellowship. From my biased and imperfect point of view it seems like many people want the fellowship to grow, and provide more services, and increase diversity, and attract young people as long as nothing has to change to do so.

This is driving me crazy.

I would never presume to join a functioning organization only to tell them how they need to change it to be more in line with my needs; that is just arrogance. But if you say you are concerned with dwindling numbers nationwide and you want to grow, if you say you want to reach out and have a bigger impact on your community, if you say you want to be a beacon of liberal religion in a very conservative town you have to be willing to try something new.

I am raising changephobic people, but I don’t understand them. I want to understand that point of view better so that I can work to find a middle way between my own quixotic nature and those who revere tradition. Husband S points out that I should be glad some people are happy to stick with what they like. I am not sure I will get it. I took a few days to write this and I’m glad I did, because the first draft was about how these people were wrong, wrong, wrong when I need to focus on finding harmony. How do you all had success in convincing people that growing means trying something new even if it is scary?

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