As I sat waiting for my mummy and I’s food to be served in a local restaurant today, saw an elderly man I didn’t know. He was walking alone down the path, where I saw him through the window. While I physically remained seated, my mind and imagination were racing ahead of me; eagerly making a story about this man I had never met. I formed a life around my view of him, a dimension of which included his marriage to a person he loved deeply. Seeing that he was alone, the story grew to encompass the passing of his partner. Like this, I continued to wonder from afar about him. Wondered if my story-making could possibly be true. Wondered how, if there was the wildest chance I was right about him, how he was feeling. I assumed he was sad, that he missed his partner. The vivid movie that my imagination created now narrated: “This is the very spot his partner loved. He’s come here because he misses them so much he just needs to be here.” 

And that was how, in a matter of seconds, I pieced together a story based on elderly man. Of all the turns my makeshift movie could have made, it made this one. Though I know very well I am likely wrong, the emotions I felt were too much for me to explain. How is he continuing on without them, I thought? How can he deal with this change? This cascade of thoughts and internal tangent drew me to wonder about my understanding of change. 

Change is stigmatized in so many dimensions. Why do we fear change, or changing as individuals? For me as a Grade 12 student, I feel fear creep up on me thinking about the experience of college and how I’ll be away from what I love. The town of Dundas is my home, analogous to what Hogwarts means to Harry Potter. It is the place I know I’ll think of when someone asks me about my home. While I’m ready for college to change this, I’m also pondering how I’m going adjust to this change without my family’s physical presence.

I’d certainly like to master the unease I feel around the prospect of change. While I love experiencing the new and exciting, at the end of it all I search for what I know best. Knowing that this is human nature is somewhat comforting, but I do think this needs to change. After all, the world’s most pressing issues have all stemmed from a pattern of behaviour known to be harmful – belief systems known to splinter communities, practises known to deteriorate global environments – but safeguarded and cushioned out of reluctance for change.

Of the many fears we can hold, I believe fear of change is the most damaging. Innovation, repair, reshaping – what the world so desperately needs right now – requires an acceptance of change. We cannot continue operating in the robotic ways we do. When Greta Thunberg said “Change is coming, whether you like it or not”, I nodded my head in agreement to my screen. For us to guide change in directions beneficial for humanity, we need to master our fear of it. 



One response

  1. Excellent writing Neha. Change is inevitable. As humans we hold on to the things we value and those are called memories! Keep writing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *