Change and Mourning
By L. L. Staff

The world is going to change. The world always has and ever will change. Thus at every moment, and every moment will get to in the future, we are called to the same goal, to use our free decisions to recreate the world as a better place than it was a moment before.

That the world is ever-changing brings occasional sadness and the need for mourning, but change is also a requirement for hope and therefore that change exists, certain, inevitable and constant, is a reason for celebration.

Every moment of change provides both a shudder of mourning as we lose forever the current moment, but that same moment of change also provides the opportunity for hope for a better future. Without that change we could have no hope. And therefore as much as we mourn the happiness we forever lose, we can also celebrate the opportunity for increased happiness we can now create in the newly arriving present.

Change itself does not make the world a better place, but change allows the possibility of a better world. A better world requires the good decisions of all currently existing things to recreate the world moment by moment in a better form. To arrive at that better world will require a lot of work and probably a lot of time. Without change we would never move beyond the world we are in now. With change we could as easily create a worse world as a better one. Change alone is not a guarantee of a better world, but because change allows the possibility of a better world, the reality of change provides hope. Change, will open new areas of opportunity.

We are torn and tossed by fast-paced change in an unsettled, unsettling world. Our impulse is to seek shelter, some anchor or compass in the stormy sea. "Stop the Changes: I Can't Keep Up!" -- or even, "Stop the Changes: I Don't Want to Keep Up!" Yearning for stability is just as inevitable and human as change itself. We need to accept tradition when it is life-giving; accommodating change, when change is appropriate. To feel cozy and protected, tradition is a great security blanket. To allow our creative juices to flow, there must be room for innovation. Change is not only a fact of life; change is life. Change is what makes life possible. Not only is it correct to say there is no life without change it is also correct to say there would be no life without change.

Everything in our lives that we think of as permanent is actually changing. Most things that we think of as stable actually require a lot of our work to keep them the way they are. And yet our investment of effort into these things is actually just one more experience of change they go through, and wonderful growth. Relationships require work to stay strong and lasting. And yet though a relationship may last several decades, it doesn't last without changing. Every day new experiences and stories are added to the relationship that effects the bonds positively or negatively. Though you may have been partnered with the same man or woman for fifty years, your relationship has changed.

But this leads to depressing thought. Everything is changing. Everything is constantly changing. We are constantly losing the way things were. Everything we formerly had is gone. Instead by trying to keep thing "as is" we add another layer of experience to an ongoing, one-way, ever-evolving reality of constant change. We should be constantly mourning. We've lost everything. Everything we've loved is gone. To say nothing of failed relationships. Even if we love our wife and children, the way they used to be is gone.

We could mourn the fact that everything we know is constantly leaving us. Constant mourning for all that is, that will soon be irretrievably gone, is a legitimate response, though probably an unhealthy response, to reality. But another response is also legitimate, and probably healthier. It is only because things change that new things are able to come into existence. Without change, we would be forever stuck in the present world. That change is built into every kind of existence means that all existing things are also infected with this ability to become something new. And, to the extent that the present world is less than ideal, it is only the fact that change occurs, that allows us to hope for a better world to come.