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Blog Post #28 - Times Are A'Changin' by Carol Kurivial

April 3, 2020

Information | Change | COVID | Idea | Robert Frost | Road Less Traveled

Back in the day, say, AD 1, the experts say it took 1,500 years for all the information available in the world to double. By the 1900s it only took a century. And the fast pace continues. The latest stats are telling us it only takes 13 months for all human knowledge to double…and that’s only human knowledge. Let’s talk about how much time it takes for our life circumstances to change. It can happen in just a couple of weeks, even days, and sometimes even just moments. We’ve all gotten a good taste of quick “change” as we navigate the waters of COVID-19.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never taken a class on how to navigate quick change, or any change for that matter. I only have at my disposal the wisdom from books I’ve read, the example of wise people I’ve encountered, and my own thoughts on the matter. And, interestingly, one idea is surfacing that brings to mind a friend of mine, Mr. Robert Frost. It seems to me that in these changin’ times, two roads are diverging in a yellow wood, and perhaps the one “less traveled by” is the very one that will “make all the difference.”

Back to that one idea? Let’s just call it adaptability! It’s basically the only thing that has ever worked successfully when it comes to piloting change. In my mind, our new reality can either turn into pandemic pandemonium or it can turn into a world of opportunity and, well, adaptability.

Oh, sure, it’s okay to take a moment or two to stomp and stammer, but at some point we’ll need to get on with it. And getting “on with it” is going to require something a little different. Our usual ways of dealing with change might not be our best course of action. For example, many deal with their stress by pumping iron at the gym, but now we have to worry about the germs. Oh, wait, they’re not even open! Silly me.

How about relying on your ACT or SAT score or maybe your GPA? Will that come to your aid? Not likely…unless you use your wisdom to find new and different way to adapt to change.

Maybe it’s your bank account and investments that give you solace. If that’s the case, try not to listen to the news or read the papers. You won’t like what it’s reporting.

Adaptability! Honestly, it’s a word worth some serious reflection.

Back to those two roads diverging in a yellow wood…which road will you take… the road that leads to an unwillingness to change and adapt, or the road that leads to acceptance of changed circumstances?

Scripture is a good place to take a lesson. Who could argue that the Bible consistently nudges us are towards adaptability. Take for example Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Another favorite of mine, maybe even my all-time favorite, is Joshua 1:9 ~ “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

And then there’s Deuteronomy 31:8 ~ “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

What do these three verses do? They encourage us to adapt.

Is life different today than it was a month ago? Yes! Is that necessarily a bad thing? No! The other day a friend told me that the water canals in Venice are clearer than they’ve been in 60 years and dolphins have been spotted in southern Italy, most likely because of clearer water. Is it possible that the earth is healing itself? And what would it feel like if all the earth’s people would follow suit?

How are you healing yourself?

Last Saturday I taught myself how to make paper, and on Sunday I taught myself how to crochet. Nothing impressive, just a straight stitch, but I did it. On Monday I planted some herbs and yesterday I enjoyed a very small family gathering on my mom’s driveway. There was great conversation, some decent food, and the love of the family dog, Toby, who’s acting like absolutely nothing has changed!! Go, figure! We all got a good dose of Vitamin D and even took an amazing walk while maintaining social distancing. Not a bad way to spend a day! Wait, could it be that we are adapting to our new reality?

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

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