It is the process of life without which one can only be a victim of claptrap slogans and businesses, which exploit human frailties
Change is an emotive word — much has been spun around it. In the American presidential electoral process for example, former US President Barack Obama romped home to victory demanding and promising change. He carried such conviction that less than half way through his presidency, he received the much-tomtommed Nobel Peace Prize. He had very little to show but carefully crafted his words at that stage. Even when he ended his tenure, he had very little to show. In a media-driven and organised framework of reference of the global literate and English-speaking community, there were no commentaries, fashionable critique or even selective outrage at this state of affairs. In India, the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M)) lost its stronghold of West Bengal to the Trinamool Congress, which came to power on the plank of poriborton. Power changed hands but many methods were borrowed from the CPI(M) by the successor Government to stay in power. To heighten contradictions of political entities isn’t really a breakthrough since this is widely acknowledged and ignored.
Closer home, in an average citizen’s life, there’s an entire theory of change. There are several proverbs: “More things change, more they remain the same”; “change is a natural process”; “change is inevitable”; “change is the essence of life”, and the list is long. The truth is something that can well vary from person to person. Under these circumstances, constancy becomes a myth and value rarely pays dividends, let alone recognition. Inevitably, the gender factor enters the scene and women are often accused of being fickle and of constantly changing their mind, if not their position. It may or may not be true but the introduction of the gender factor in a debate on change is like introducing a red herring. Men can be just as fickle and make a fine art of changing their positions. The trouble with wars, including gender wars, is that they resolve nothing. The defeated party waits to recover energy and enters the fray thereafter with the same vigour.
The basic truth of the situation is: Change is natural to living entities. They all are born, grow, plateau, decay and die. Non-living entities also change because particles lose their quality. Air, moisture, heat, dust and a host of other things damage the material. So ultimately, change becomes a universal phenomenon.
What human beings can do is that they can add shape, pace and direction to a natural process of change. Hence, they have to work in conjunction with nature. One has to almost define the content of change. In pre-historic times, humans used to threaten each other with clubs. Today, they threaten each other with fire power and atomic fission. While the threat is constant, the mode has changed. Hence, to talk of change, one must understand what component changes and how.
Everyone is bothered about change. Those who are fashion conscious are worried about fading charm. So, an entire industry is spawned to restore the glow. The global worth of this industry is still to be computed. Internal organs, blood flow, nervous systems and outer skin — all change. Further, a nearly equal large business is spawned of doctors, testing laboratories, medicines and one could almost add, quacks. It is like fashion, an industry whose worth has barely begun to be computed.
Hence, change is one of the root causes of several businesses. It is change and the desire to change that indents capital. It indents technology. Change is at the root of innovation, at the root of growing and flourishing business. To put it simply, if human beings could live with boredom simplicity, resignation to meet creature needs as the bottom-line, the world would be a different kind of a place. One must hasten to add that these lines are not a plea to eliminate the urge of change, it is a plea to desire change and work for it in a mature and sustainable manner.
An endless urge to change and grow with no self-imposed limits of judgement and satiation creates conflicts, which not only wreck international relations, societies, peace of individuals but even ‘connects’ that are so basic to the fundamentals of living. One has to recognise that the act of life is the act of living. It cannot be substituted as being in a perineal mode of breathlessness and panting. It cannot be wanting more and more and yet more when nature itself imposes a cut-off to human ability to stay in comfort, eat to fullness or sleep for rejuvenation. If wealth is what you can enjoy and not what you store, happiness is the ability to feel joyful without rancour, exasperation or even without endless aspiration.
What is change then? It is the process of life without which one can only be a victim of claptrap slogans and businesses, which make the exploitation of human frailties the corner-stone of escalating profitability. To understand this is to understand a basic truth.
(The writer is a well-known management consultant)