Move forward or stand still

The universe, planets and species change over time. Pretty much everything imaginable is continually withering, budding, degrading, blooming, evolving, breaking, emerging, transforming, cracking, expanding or coalescing. The time scale of change might be quicker than we can observe directly like the decay of certain atomic nuclei. It might be slower than we can comprehend like the birth of a new solar system. It might be within our frame of understanding like the eruption of a volcano or the extinction of a species. Reality is not stagnant, not a snapshot to be pasted into a textbook. Everything moves and responds to movements as if nature – from micro to macro – twirls in a grand cosmic contra dance.

There’s wisdom in change. Any organism that doesn’t adapt to a dynamic environment will cease to survive. In nature, standing still equates to falling behind. Parents of teenagers will relate to this idea as they try to stay current with teen subculture. Sharks who must continually swim in order to breathe understand the necessity of moving forward.

We have dominion over ourselves. We decide whether to stay in sync with our surroundings or to engage in the personal evolution of self-improvement. We decide whether we move forward or stand still and thus slip into the past.

But change isn’t always fun. Many people prefer to sequester themselves and hold onto previous eras, situations or personas, apprehensive to see the present for what it is in hopes that clinging to history will boomerang reality back to former days.

Then there’s rationalizations. We ruminate on a whole buffet of excuses to keep ourselves stagnant: I was born into unfavorable circumstances…. I had challenges no one else did…. It’s harder for me than others…. I’m doing pretty well, considering my obstacles. All of these things may be true. Maybe you did have it harder than everyone else. On some level, none of it matters. If we’re honest, much of it is old baggage that we carry out of allegiance to ourselves. Some of it is bad luck. How much of it is self-imposed? A person with a disability has tangible challenges that most of us could never understand, and yet Special Olympics athletes accomplish their goals regardless. We all know people who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to bring a greater peace into the world. The universe will keep changing its beat. Whether or not you keep up with the rhythm is all up to you, even if you have to keep swimming to do it.

We only get one time around the cosmic contra dance. Respond to the ever-evolving reality and find your rhythm, even if it’s not perfect. You get over yourself and I’ll get over myself. Let’s change. And if we don’t make it all the way? Let’s enjoy the dance.

2 thoughts on “Move forward or stand still

    1. It may sound odd, but I like thinking about the insignificance of humans in the grand cosmic scheme. We over-inflate our importance and miss objective beauty and reality in favor of our subjective, limited perspective. It’s all more grandiose than we could ever understand.

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