This thing called change is so much more than what it is …


Much has changed in recent times. Change is, in fact, the more obvious if not blatant norm nowadays. Look around you, things are changing at a fast and furious pace. Everything that change touches are so much more different than what they have once been. You don’t actually need to look very hard because the havoc that change has wrought are both in the small and big things. The paradigm we are all living in right now, as it has always been, but more so obvious now, is hinged upon one word, and what it means—change.

Surely, all along, change has been the engine of everything that’s been going on, but the velocity or speed of change has never been before as fast as it is now. The acceleration of change, whether within us or from without, has been so fast that many things simply whizz past us at an incredible speed, making us realize how things are different only after it has happened. Before we know it, things indeed, has already been touched by change.

Because of the dynamics of change, we cannot hope to keep things the same by staying put in a single spot. There is no comfort to be felt in the fact that we can save ourselves from the idea of perpetually changing. We cannot chain the moment and keep it hostage forever. Even in our deliberate inaction and inactivity, even in our studied inertness, things are still going to inevitably change.

And we are affected by it no matter how many times we deny it. We cannot cast it out or exorcise it. When we stay in a single spot, trying to stall change, it doesn’t mean that we will be unchanged or we will be untouched by change. A momentary pause can offer only a temporary sense of unchanging surreality. But that’s just what it is—a surreal illusion. It doesn’t offer any lasting value to us. It just hoist us up in the air for a fraction of a second, only to let us fall down with a painful thud. Like the irrefutable law of gravity, change is a definite agent that keeps things moving all around and about, and within us.

The best way to deal with change is to take an old adage and personalize it: go with the flow. Follow it with obedience to where it leads and simply enjoy being led. It is natural to feel anxious and nervous about change. There is so much that’s unknown and unexpected. We fear it because we are not in control of what’s going on. And even if we have a measure of control, fear still beats in our hearts.

While swimming with change is easy for some; for others, it is not. Change, for perhaps not-so-obvious reasons, can be like swimming with the sharks. There is danger all around, and the reasons are real enough to be very afraid. The uncertainty of change can shackle into an immovable state even the most adventurous among us.

Of course, we can, to a certain extend, direct the flow of change; but by and large, we are generally caught up in its vortex. We might as well just accept change when it happens, and face the consequences with uncharacteristic stoic bravery. At this point, we have no other choice it seems. To do otherwise, or to buck the trend, can only result in painful misery for no apparent reason. And definitely, that is not a good thing.

This thing about change, and the business of changing, seems to be relatively simple. Many of us don’t think a thing about it. Many flow through with it in easy cruise control. It is, as some may describe, elementary. And yet, with the fullness of its extent, it is not. Change holds too powerful a sway for us to either simply let it happen, to disregard or to go against. Ultimately, we take it upon ourselves to navigate it—taking responsibility by being at the helm, the captain of our own ship.

[Note: Dominique James is a professional photographer in New York City. Visit his website at or email for more information.]

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