Saturday, August 10, 2019

Change happens constantly--why is it so hard?

"Looking through time..." by johnmaschak
is licensed under Creative Commons
BY-NC-ND 2.0
Just about the time we become comfortable in our daily lives, something changes. Everyone is prepared for planned changes, but some are impossible to predict. It is this unpredictability that impacts everyone.

The span between tragedy and felicity is widespread, but it seems like unfortunate changes often outweigh the pleasurable ones.  Tragic changes can mark our memories and change a person's, or even their community’s or nation's viewpoint forever.

What causes change? Time, choices, planned and unplanned events, and the cause and effect influences of those events. Change includes all of humanity, Earth, the Galaxy, and even existence's quantum level. On the quantum level? Yes, after all, we have scientists theorizing and trying to prove other universes exist. If they do, how will that affect our world?

Time affects universal change. Everyday everyone turns a day older although we often don't notice it when looking in a mirror. Photographs, however, show how our bodies change, and as we age, time speeds up. An article, by Jordan Gaines Lewis in Scientific America (December 2013), explains one reason: "For a 5-year-old, one year is 20% of their entire life. For a 50-year-old, however, one year is only 2% of their life." Yikes! And with every passing second, the world changes.

Some events we experience. We witness even more, but many events we never notice.

Some life-changing events we chose to initiate. As we become independent adults, our personal choices often determine our future. As we age, many of us enjoy stable, satisfactory lifestyles, yet everyone experiences unanticipated events. Some changes are beneficial or benign, some very difficult, and some outright dangerous. Yet all experiences, both good and bad, teach us something, one is that ignoring change doesn't stop it from happening. Furthermore, what we considered a small, unimportant event can build to result in unpredictable future changes. For instance, the discovery of and use of fossil fuels.

Our daily personal events, both planned and happenstance, change not only us, but also those around us in a long chain of social reactions often unnoticed. Not only our personal interactions change us. Changes in our community, state, and nation also affect our lifestyles. These experiences change us, sometimes in unforeseen ways. Over time, some events change accepted human attitudes and behaviors, producing social differences that define every historical era.

Today our news media also gives daily (sometimes hourly, depending on the source and your predilection to news) reports of local, national, and world events and disasters. Today they also often present charming accounts of some good or inspiring events. These reports provide us some measure of reassurance after our usual daily dose of dismal reality reports of life on Earth. Another aspect is media now wakes a new awareness of how it can undermine factual knowledge, leaving us is in a “is it true or not true” conundrum.

The Earth changes, too, often in very gradual, unforeseen ways, but not always. Erupting earthquakes, volcanoes, drought, floods, can happen without warning. Scientists can predict these changes, but many disbelieve their reports because the public had
been told not to believe them. When 97% percent of scientists predicted climate change decades ago, our leaders told us to ignore the reports. Now it is too late to change the affects. Predicted events usually still happen but perhaps not on a predictable schedule. As our weather patterns change, as life chain links go extinct, and as the population expands, and our poor habits affect the Earth, the results will affect everyone. They already do. We survive due to our mindset and to our endurance.

As a writer, I know these difficult changes are frequently one aspect to use in fiction. While happening in stories, change usually creates interest, making the story more meaningful to the reader. Readers can empathize with these incidents, and when characters experience them, the reader feels the effects. Evidence has shown the situations characters endure in stories can help readers to understand change and to learn how to deal with it in their own lives. Which just shows, reading also changes everyone.

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