7 April 2009
I stepped out of my office and decided I’d go do some electronic paper grading and thought it would be fun to try using a new laptop. Then I wondered how long I’d enjoy using a new computer until it became a boring tool. Then I realized I like the spunk or life or interesting-ness that a new computer gives. It gives me life, interest, and provides an environment where I like doing other things with it. Then “poof!” a bigger idea came into my mind.
If you disagree that people like change, then what you really mean is that you don’t like change right now, in some way that is forced on you. But you do like change, when you choose it to be. You get bored. I believe this is not inherent or intrinsic in people, but it has become trained behavior. I’ve concluded that change damages our society and damages individuals.
I should point out one subtlety not present in the English language; be careful about this when you talk of “change” or quote me. My claim is that we don’t like to change-diff (morph, improve, enhance, build), however we do like to change-swap (displace, replace, switch out). In fact, plying open this difference is the heart of what I’m trying to talk about in this article.
We like change-swap instead of change-diff, and that is bad for our character. We get bored with our car and choose to buy a new one. We get bored with our job and start acting up for any little excuse. Dating tends to enrich and honor the process of get bored with our boyfriend or girlfriend and dumping them. Worse, we get bored with our spouse, divorce them, and look for a new model (or do the same thing in a different order). These days, people even get bored with their gender and choose to change-swap it.
Change-diff requires work and commitment that comes from nowhere but ourselves. Change-swap requires money or resources, which can be earned or taken from others. Change-diff requires embodiment of the process into ourselves. Change-swap includes a consumerism attitude of handling and controlling our environment, resources, or people around us.
Do you have a theological streak in you? Consider that God chooses to not change-diff or change-swap. “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows” or “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6).
Lastly, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.‘” With an analytical and logical frame of mind, I see here that perhaps God defines non-change, so rest of the world moves in comparison to him. A being that is defined by who he IS (with no concept of to be or has been) defines no change.
Satan wanted to change-swap with God, defining his own character.
Notice we rebel against God when he tries to change-diff us. Instead, we tend to expire or deplete our patience with any given belief, and then we wander off to find something better. We want to find a new book or a new theory that will turn us into something wonderful and make the change-swap worthwhile. When titillation becomes boredom, we want to move on. We tend to pursue change-swaps throughout life: our job, our house, our spouse, our clothes.
What would the world look like if people only did change-diffs? What if everyone had their head down on the task, while their heart was up. Intently disciplined at change-diffing for the better and helping others do the same?