Column: If there’s one guarantee in life, it’s change

Gordon Schuss from Whispers of Hope writes about embracing change.

A group of us from Whispers of Hope gathered together recently to share our thoughts on the subject of “changes.”

Some of us present in the discussion are on the cusp of experiencing significant changes in our lives, and this fact certainly inspired the sharing session.

I believe that change, of one sort or another, is a guaranteed certainty along the journey of life. Even those who cling to maintaining a life of routine predictability, may find their world suddenly rocked by an unexpected event. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who become easily dissatisfied with routine, and will force a change merely for the sake of eradicating boredom.

I believe it is good to embrace change as an often natural and unavoidable part of the cycle of life. I watch a child grow from a tiny bundle of vulnerability to a mature, independent adult.

I witness the seasons cycling repeatedly from the extremes of summer heat and greenery to the grey and frozen landscapes of winter.

I stand amazed at the ebbs and flows of our Granby and Kettle rivers, as they transform from trickles of ice-encrusted streams to home and business threatening flood waters.

My dear mother, who now rests in peace, used to share with me her understanding of forcing change.

“Remember Gordon, you can’t run away from your problems. You take with you, where ever you go, all your problems and fears. You need to face your problems, and face your fears.”

I often think of my mother’s words when its comes to fantasizing about “the grass is greener” type changes, and asking myself honestly, “Am I trying to run away from something or someone difficult that I need to courageously face?”

Whispers of Hope has undergone numerous changes throughout its history in Grand Forks. Once again, Whispers will be experiencing changes in senior management, changes at the board level, and changes in the volunteers, who serve for the amount of time they feel inspired to do so. Volunteerism is, by its very nature, a “change labor force.”

Because volunteers are not bound by the need of a paycheque, they remain free agents, able to come and go as autonomously as the breezes blow. I try to appreciate each day I have with each volunteer, as I know they are free to make changes in their priorities at any time.

As the sands of time trickle steadily through the hourglass, so do changes come to us all. Some are welcome, some are not.

Yes, it is hard to say goodbye as friends and loved ones move forward with their lives. Yet, the good news is, some things do remain constant.

Although my mother has passed, so many of her words stay with me, and have become an unchanging part of the character I take with me everywhere I go.

Words and examples do have a constant and lasting impact on those around us. One other constant in this world of change, is the innate ability that each one of us possess to change ourselves for the better.

As the celebrated Russian author Leo Tolstoy so wisely said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing oneself.”

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