Change: Is change an exponential measure of growth? It is the process in which people, places or things (e.g. ideas, emotions, mountains, etc.) transform into something different. In the context of our perception of time, change can occur very rapidly or so slowly, such as the growth of grass and trees, that we do not notice any significant difference from hour to hour or day to day. Ubiquitous, perpetual, and frequently unintended, change often represents the unknown, which can instill fear in some people because of the uncertainty of what change will bring. Change is omnipresent in our lives. You cannot stop it from happening, and you must accept its power. We must think diligently about what we have the agency to change and what falls outside of our influence. Once you realize that you cannot change everything, you must accept this fact and change only what you can. To begrudge them and their place in life is to foster stress. How do you feel about change? Does it scare you? What do you do to decrease the fear that can accompany change? Do you have difficulty keeping up with change that occurs in your personal or professional life? Or, do you look forward to most changes with excitement and increased hope? If you could make a positive change to your outlook on life, what would it be? What in your life is currently changing? What is staying the same? How do these changes and ‘non-changes’ influence your life as a whole? How do you adapt to these changes? What are the things in your life that you cannot change? What are the things you can change? How do you change them?
Recently, as a precursor to the UN Climate Summit, people from around the globe organized and protested the seeming lack of action on the part of nations and corporations in dealing with climate change. According to the Huffington Post, more than 300,000 people in New York City, along with “2,800 coordinated events held in 166 countries” worldwide, participated in the Climate March to draw attention to the disastrous effects of climate change. Admittedly, the protesters did not focus on any specific action, such as the carbon fee and dividend bill being pushed in Congress by the Citizens Climate Lobby, but, at minimum, the march displayed that people are becoming increasingly concerned with the adverse environmental changes occurring around the world.
Specific instances of climate change were discussed by Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the movies Titanic and Gangs of New York, during his address to the UN Climate Summit. After acknowledging humankind’s tendency to view climate change as “fiction,” he stated, “we know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.”
However, there are still many people arguing about the climate change issue. Some claim that noticeable climate change events, such as an increase in the quantity and ferocity of storms, are a natural part of the Earth’s cycle and unrelated to humankind’s activities (i.e. deforestation, burning fossil fuels in our cars and homes, chemical pollution on the corporate scale). Yet, is our future on this Earth, the one and only world that is hospitable to our form of life, too big of a wager? The majority of the scientific community believes that we are well on our way to creating our own extinction, so, yes, betting the future of our children by doing nothing to slow or stop climate change now defies common sense and our innate instinct to survive.