This early morning, with winter slowly coating the city, the mother of a close friend of mine passed away after almost four years of fighting cancer. It was 33,072 hours or 1,984,320 minutes that she had to suffer severe pain, with lots of tubes for transfusions, toxins, and chemical radiation...
In her last days, fortunately, she witnessed all of the important changes in life. Her husband learned how to take care of the house. Her son achieved a career, and at least she could rest in the belief that “he will not go hungry". Her daughter - a friend of mine - got married and is pregnant, a baby who changed her personality, while just two years ago, the mother still wondered if there would come a day when this girl was mature.
Right at the moment I am thinking of my friend’s mother - a beautiful, bright, warm-hearted woman - and writing these words, perhaps she is ready for her changes, a new journey to leave everything behind.
A couple of minutes ago, Berlin radio quoted Václav Havel with the power of words, and the great changes this politician created in the Czech Republic society in the 1990s. “If the world is to change for the better it must start with a change in human consciousness, in the very humanness of a modern man,” Mr. Havel once said.
In a range of definitions, a change is an act or process through which something becomes different. That could be a transformation, a modification, an alteration, a variation or a deviation. That also could be the passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another, or anything that may be substituted for another.
In the formula of change (C = D × V × F > R), which created by David Gleicher in the early 1960s and refined by Kathie Dannemiller in the 1980s, there are three crucial factors for a meaningful change to take place:
D - Dissatisfaction with how things are now
V - Vision of what is possible
F - First concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision
If the product of these three factors is greater than R - Resistance, then change is possible. Because D, V, and F are multiplied, if any factor is absent (zero) or low, then the change will be zero or low, and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance.
Big changes sometimes overwhelm people. Many problems might appear because of the change they want to make, the sudden difficulty of implementing the solutions, deadlines, financial crises, or the amount of work that needs to be done for the changes are so complicated that people do not know where to start. As a result, there is no change in the end!
Thinking of changes in my life, here comes a catalog: my hairstyle and colors, my clothes and shoes, my grades and schools, my friends and teachers, my bosses and jobs, my country and my love, and also my photography. I have had a deep variation in the ability to photograph and to feel. My notebooks every day are full of adjustments and twists, my writing style and my perception become more and more different and interesting. In the next days, my mood surely changes while saying goodbye to a friend who will go home, while seeing the autumn leaves’ colors fading, when switching on the heating system...
The mother of my friend always believed that when life closed a door, it would open another door. And death is just the beginning of a new journey, a positive change, or in her case a release from suffering. “You are not allowed to be sad, what I hate the most is crying, and dramatic things. So, be beautiful and fresh, that is how our farewell is supposed to be”. She guided the whole family throughout 1,378 days of fighting cancer with the most cheerful face, because to her, life is sad and grim, however, we have a way to make it filled with joy and laughter. Upset or happy, finally, it is just a change of attitude.
When preparing for any change, in all kinds of shapes and forms, I often think about the wise words from the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."
Do something, start working, take the very first small step - and gradually, your journey to become better and different will begin. And may all the changes you awaited or worked for so long bring joy and satisfaction into your lives. Because life needs your experience, your wisdom, changes, and your love.