Change is defined as a difference or alteration in something, be it the system, society or even one’s behavioural change. From the invention of the light-bulb to the launching of the first rocket, change has always bewitched us. Change has always incited fascination, in other words, ‘change has always demanded our attention.’
Not so long ago, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. The world was gripped with amazement at this unimaginable feat. For years people sang praises and composed ballads proclaiming this never-thought-before feat, this remarkable achievement. But, a mere forty-three years later the launch of a rocket in NASA has become just another passing event not even big enough to be headlines.
Moving further back, when Henry T. Ford invented the first economy car, people were astounded, left spellbound. The first common–man car hit the road! A change in the perception that only royals could own a car was brought about. This change too, like all other changes, fascinated the world! Was man content with the change? No! With each passing day, he aspired for more changes. Change is the only constant. Today we have a one lakh Rupee car for the masses! Has contentment now come about with this change? Only time will tell.
Forget the ‘white’ areas of life. Even in the so-called ‘black and grey areas’, change has always demanded our attention. Many years ago, in West Virginia a mine exploded killing three hundred men, two hundred of whom were fathers. In order to honour these people a special day began to be celebrated all over the world, a day, commonly known as ’Father’s Day’. However, in this twenty-first century that is inhabited by a generation of heartless people we wonder if a commemoration is worth it for a mere two hundred odd fathers who lost their lives in that explosion!
The change that we see today is of an insensitive population. Are we that heartless? Have we lost our value for life? Has death become so commonplace that it feels odd if no suicide or murder is reported in the newspaper? The ‘behavioural change’ too continues to fascinate me is a ‘cold’ sense.
Is today’s rocket less fast or less complex than Apollo 1? It is most likely more complex and ten times faster than Apollo. But why, does it fail to capture our imagination?
Is today’s car noisier and less effective than Ford’s first car? Definitely not! It is faster, more effective, less noisy and more spacious than that breakthrough car, in other words, it is a class apart! However, it fails to capture our imagination. Yet it amazes none! Why?
Einstein, Newton and Edison brought about a change that was so fascinating that it changed the way mankind lived. However, the trinity is forgotten now.
Things do not change; we change. The rocket has not got any slower nor has the car got any noisier. Bill Gates’ achievement is not greater than that of Edison! Life has not become less important. We are all still God’s unique and beautiful creation. Even so, the fact that no electric impulse passes through us every time we hear something so ‘commonplace’ is not because of the change, but the feeling of change.
It is the ‘feeling’ of change that incites emotions, that incites excitement , that incites pain! Change is a mere adjustment or alteration. When we have finished adjusting to change the ‘change’ doesn’t go away, it is the stimulation within us towards change that alters and slowly fades.
When Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon or when Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norkay first climbed Mount Everest it was a change for human beings. This change immediately stimulated excitement within us. However, after the adjustment completed within us, this stimulus too, failed to sustain.
When those two hundred fathers died in the mine explosion, entire West Virginia was gripped with pain. But as human beings slowly adjusted their system towards this change, again sadly, the pain of death got less strong and maybe one day the pain might cease. Is this right? Is this what we really need?
Sadly, we are no one to answer. This mystery will always remain unanswered. People may live on Mars one day but they will never know why initial excitement slowly fades. People may have robots which do everything for them one day, but they will never realise why the robots have suddenly become for them, just another machine!
Maybe this is how we are created. Maybe this is how it was always meant to be. Or maybe, we just evolved and our systems have ‘changed’. I have no answers. Change may be good or change maybe bad but, as far as what is in your hand, don’t let the stimulus die out quickly. Be it happiness or sadness, pain or joy, let the stimulus stay on as long as it is appropriate, for otherwise we’ll always live wanting and finally die wanting! Change comes as change does, yet don’t wait for that change neglecting the present. This craving for change is just going to make you an unhappy individual. Sometimes, that want to change can even kill you. Be happy with what you have. Find joy and satisfaction in the smallest of things that exist presently around you. When the change that is inevitable and fascinating does finally happen, embrace it and sustain the stimulus. The world isn’t going to run away anywhere. Keep the stimulus alive! Hakuna Matata! It’s a wonderful world!
Elaina Pasangha a student of Sacred Heart Girls High School, Bangalore, India won a national-level award for this creative writing at the National Essay Writing Contest conducted by the ICSE Board (Delhi) for all the ICSE Schools in the country.