Communities are under great stress. They are the places we live, work, love, and experience the full range of life. We each need to think deeply about our relationship to the place we live. Where do you participate? What is your contribution? What is the difference that matters that you make?
This is what Stephan Abrams a honored friend and I talk about on his podcast, The Jackson Hole Connection.
We all live in a time of transition. It is different than just recognizing that change is happening. It is seeing that transition is a process along a path of change. The more we embrace the transitions that we are in, the more we can thrive in a time of uncertainty. The Transition Chronicles is an ongoing series of short books (5,000 to 12,000 words in length) that focus on various aspects of the transitions that we experience through the three dimensions of the Circle of Impact.
All intentional change must begin with what we know. The line between what we know and what we do not know is a broad one. In that former is information, experience, and knowledge. On the other side of that dividing line is conjecture, opinion and the spectacle of the real*. Social media straddles those two ways of understanding. It presents the perspectives that suggests that because we have read a blog post or watched a video that we now have some definitive knowledge about something. Coming to know what you know is not a passive experience of absorbing other people’s knowledge or opinion. Instead, it is an active search for understanding on many levels. I want to show you the practice that I use to understand the world that surrounds me. In doing this, I hope to show you the difference between genuine knowledge and mere opinion. Why does this matter? When you know what you need to know, you are less susceptible to being manipulated by people who use ideologies as a wedge to divide people and communities.
Four Responses to Change
There is a continuum of response to change. There are four responses along a spectrum with the extremes being destructive responses to change, and the middle two being more constructive. Let us call the destructive responses Change-Phobic and Change-Junkie and the constructive responses Change-receptive and Change-initiator.
“It is vitally important that we understand what change is. It is the living, dynamic context of our lives. Every thought, every emotion, every action, every response in a particular moment operates within a change context. Every movement, shift in perspective, or initiative taken happens within the context of change.
Change is so prevalent that we don’t even see it. It is invisible until it becomes toxic or threatening. Then, we see it or feel it so much that we want to get out of it. Change is always present. It is our best friend and our worst enemy.
The skill needed is a recognition that we are always in transition. It is not just a mental note that change is always present. It is seeing precisely what kind of change is happening in the moment. Did I anticipate my clients stepping back from the projects we had planned? I was not surprised. All around me were people I knew whose businesses were in crisis.”
Change is the context of our lives. The question is how do we embrace it.