Change, Imagination and Possibility by William Klein

Change is hard. John Lennon laughed about a time in New York when one of the places where they hung out was changing its name. He noted that all the revolutionaries were up in arms about the change. They were crying to the owner why he couldn’t change the name.  Ironic. If revolutionaries struggle with a simple change, who wouldn’t?

Change is the one constant in the universe, and it’s the one thing that humans try to resist the most. We move along in life and settle in. The older we get the more we stay in our comfort zones.

At every point in our lives, we’ve had to face something we didn’t want to face. So many of us are in the midst of change.  For good or ill, we’ve had to adapt to a new lifestyle. We have no choice.

Some are grieving and taking on a new normal without a loved one.  Some are retired and have to face what to do without work. Some are dealing with an illness and having to adopt a new healing discipline as they face uncertainty. Some are attending to re-evaluating their work and rolling with the punches of ambiguity in seeing what works and what doesn’t. Some have a new child and identifying tricks of the trade for inspiring faith and security in the heart. Others are adapting to new forms of learning.

Having met the virus personally, I’ve gained a unique understanding. Facing the Covid-19 virus head on was tricky. My immediate thoughts went to the mortality of my family.  I prayed that I wouldn’t pass the illness on to my loved ones. I’d heard the stories of how people slipped into comas and struggled for breath. I considered the best form of treatment and questioned whether I was doing the right thing in managing the illness – especially considering that I had no idea if I was managing it correctly when my mind was foggy and unstable.

Faith is a gift, as it inspires us to recognize the power of change.  When my mother was facing death, I reminded her that we have all been afraid to face something big.  When we confront it and have survived it, we look back and realize that it wasn’t as bad as we thought. I hope it comforted her. It reminded her that her faith was strong and through leaning on community we can endure almost anything.

I’ve always admired fearless people. The example of walking ahead of the pack and willingness to take on the unknown with bravado is admirable. Those people have an understanding of the power of possibility and the imagination in inspiring more.

John O’Donohue, the mystic philosopher quotes a conversation he had with a friend saying “facts are amazing things.”  The friend replied, “yes, facts are interesting but possibilities are far more interesting.”  O’Donohue realized “All facts are children of possibility.  Possibility is the name of the game.”

The trick in dealing with change is in fanning the flames of optimism and possibilities that exist. How do we get the mind to recognize the power of possibility to inspire the imagination to arrive at new possibilities when we are facing fear at its most daunting?

O’Donohue says we choose one approach to a number of possibilities within.  He wondered what happened to the other possibilities? There’s always a new one being faced.

The way we approach a possibility makes all the difference. We pick a possibility like a delectable meal. It’s one of many.  Enjoy it while you can. Explore it. Devour it. There’s going to be new possibilities to eat when you have finished that one.

We are nourished on our presence of mind in dealing with tremendous possibility. The imagination is the engine of possibility that sustains us. It’s always going to be running as long as we attend to it.


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