Editorial - Time for a change

Dianne St. Jean
“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” William Pollard

This is the time of year when nostalgia, that thing that gives us that warm fuzzy feeling about the past, tugs at our heartstrings. You almost can’t help it. During the Christmas season especially we are inundated with sounds and images that try to evoke in us pleasant childhood memories, and there’s a very good reason for that.
Nostalgia sells, even during other times of the year. Take for example the Werther’s Original commercial, where the woman tasting the candy is instantly brought back to a childhood memory of visiting the candy shop where the caramels were sold. This Christmas season’s commercials also portrayed a young girl with glasses excitedly hauling in, hiding, then presenting a gift, only to transform into the adult she is. The line of that commercial is to “make us feel like a kid again.”
Did you notice that these nostalgia factors tend to aim at childhood? I believe it’s because that is the time in our lives when we are the most idealistic and innocent, often unaware of the stark reality of the harsher things in life – the burden of having to get up and make a living even when we’d rather play, or doing that pile of laundry that keeps growing if we ignore it, because, unlike when we were young, Mommy isn’t there to do it for us.
It’s odd, even those who haven’t had an idyllic childhood tend to get pulled in by the stirrings of Nostalgia Magic. I think it’s because there is something in us that wants to stick with the familiar, even when it’s not necessarily the best thing for us.
Change can be scary. Yet, it is necessary. It’s also inevitable. Look at nature. All living things are in a constant process of change or movement. A halt in the process is actually a sign of malfunction, illness, or even death.
Thankfully there are those who push through the familiar and move toward change and innovation.
Initiators of change are usually, of course, individuals who are ahead of their time. They recognize that, no matter how much we want something to stay the same, things must change; and not change just for change’s sake, or simply to rebel against the current ‘status quo’ - but real change, that meets the needs of our current time within history.
New trends and innovations tend to come naturally with the passage of time, and if we don’t follow along, we get left behind. The invention and widespread use of the computer is one of the best examples of this.
Baby boomers in particular found themselves either left out or left behind from some of the best jobs or personal opportunities just because of a fear or resistance of learning these new skills.
Is it always easy? No. Is it comfortable? Absolutely not. But this is exactly what I mean about that crossroads between the comfort of nostalgia or all things familiar, and moving forward with change.
The ironic thing is that those very changes, in time, eventually become our new familiar