Surviving Change

Years ago I was in Florence, Italy and I remember being amazed at the local artists that created beautiful replicas of the classic renaissance paintings in chalk on the street. These people practiced their craft knowing full well that traffic will make today’s masterpiece into tomorrows chalk dust. I’ve seen similar art in places like India, in Nepal where Buddhist monasteries create Buddha idols formed in butter that melts away in the afternoon heat, and even sand and ice sculpture imported from distant cultures into western societies.

The interesting thing about the origins of all of these types impermanent practices has always been the attitude behind it. From artists in Firenze to the monks in Kathmandu, the common thread of all of these activities has been the acceptance of change. The fact that these activities have been woven into old-world cultures is curious indeed.

They are part of peoples and cultures that have survived.

Could it be that in order to survive, we must in some way accept change as part of life? Is it any coincidence that more of such activities are visible in older cultures than more newly formed ones? Does this not also apply to the world of business?

Today, change is moving at a speed approaching constancy. In other words, soon change will be normal and permanence will be the thing you’ll notice. And it always comes with resistance…that’s always been the way… But what do you do when it gets overwhelming? When it comes in waves and controlling it is simply out of the question! The choices are either to ride it, or get swept up in it. What do we do then?

Well, that’s not just an esoteric waxing of Zen, it’s the world we live in.

Change—Resistance—Progress (eventually in the direction of adapting to the change). We’ve survived it ‘till here and if you take the time to look it’s still here. The perspective to take is nothing new. It’s just another page from the lives of survivors who can accept impermanence and are still cool with it.

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