Al Cashion: A potent power
November 3, 2012
I despise change, ….now. I used to demand change. Change feeds the frenzy of the youthful mind. I think I was really hungry.
Change now seems to have become a cruel taskmaster as life becomes seasoned and tempered by age, experience, unexpected diversions and trials.
Now that I'm knocking on the door of six decades, I understand the people I use to call old. Some of their foibles that were so irritating are starting to make a great deal of sense.
Idiosyncrasies of seasoned Seniors I thought to be irrational now seem more than logical.
I'm not there yet. I don't wear dark socks with sandals and Bermuda shorts or use my wife's hand lotion on my bunions yet but I am wearing my pants a little higher.
Twenty years ago I did not understand why I repeatedly instructed my father by phone how to, "turn on the VCR, turn the television to channel 3, insert the tape with the open part going in first, push play, use the TV remote to adjust the sound, use the two little dashes on the VCR remote when you gotta take a leak and the little arrow pointing to the right when you come back from the fridge."
I understand now. My daughters don't.
Dad just didn't want to have to learn the doggone VCR. If I was not available to come to the phone, he'd just go back to Louis L'amour.
Dad was tired of learning …. stuff. He was tired of change stuff. He'd had a lifetime of learning change stuff and having to change stuff by necessity.
Dad was an Industrial Engineer who had to experience the last great societal shift. The Industrial Age was morphing into the Information Age beneath his feet.
He was proficient, some even said brilliant in the world he understood. Elected twice as President of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers, his name is in bronze on a wall somewhere in New York City.
But the world changed around him. I'm having to accept the change of a rapidly progressive Information Age.
But there is a change I've learned to love.
It's a change that tells me I'm still growing as a human being.
It is a change that has given me insight; some maturity and the ability to demystify my life experience some.
I gave myself permission to change my mind.
That sounds rather impotent and innocuous at first mention, I know.
I'm not referring to silly changes like a different breakfast cereal but change of mind resulting in new paradigms, "World View" changes.
I was diverted into discovering the efficacy of a changed mind. My life's plans were interrupted by life. Memorized answers answered little. My "truths" became weak assumptions and the assumptions became false.
These diversions interfered with my security and my identity; maybe especially my identity. I had to absorb perspectives I otherwise would not have granted a moment's thought.
Truth has become my supreme alliance. Well, except when I screw up.
I had to listen to those I thought wrong. I had to challenge my assumptions. I had to accept that I had told myself lies and they were the worst lies anyone ever told about me or to me.
I had to ask why someone who seemed bright, intelligent, moral and thoughtful could have thoughts so different from my own.
I had to exchange my "right" for a willingness to accept I may be wrong and change my mind.
Changing your mind is what can change you. That is a very potent power. A very exclusive power as well.
Only you and God have it.