Status Quo vs Revolution


I often see people fall into two categories: those who desire change and those who want to keep things the same. In each category, there is a spectrum of conviction to a particular world view. On the one side, some desperately want the perceived safety and security of the status quo and will attempt to maintain control and power by whatever means necessary. However, this category also has those who are just complacent and apathetic avoiding conflict or confrontation as long as they remain comfortable. Certainly, there are many in between these two extremes but they will all at one time or others point toward the risks of change and the examples of things that have gone wrong when veering from the standard, safe and secure path. The category represents the majority of people in many situations. 

The other category seeks change for a variety of reasons. Perhaps for new adventures or for the pleasure of variety. However, those who make the other group most uneasy are those whose solution to current problems is to implement massive changes. In extreme cases, these may be revolutionaries or self-proclaimed anarchists. These folks often don’t see the point in subtle adjustments or are just fed up with the way things are. Over the years I have also gone through phases where I felt like selling everything and moving to a little place by the sea where I could finally write my books. Sometimes the challenges in life make us want to run away from it all. 

To be honest, in the past, I have also been prone to stay in jobs and relationships well beyond the point where I was no longer happy. Depending on the topic, you may fall into either one of these categories at any given time. Someone may be security-oriented when it comes to work or career but cycle through relationships frequently. This is because you have both elements within you as part of your inner psychological system and you have different strategies for different problems. We all have the need for some degree of stability or at least continuity in life and we all have the need to grow, evolve and change over time. Taken to extremes either approach can be detrimental and leads to conflict as opposing sides fight for their world view. 

With the current health crisis, we find ourselves in one thing is certain. There will be no returning to normal. Those who struggle to get things back to the way they were and those who demand radical change may be right in some areas and wrong in others. As with any conflict, the more one side digs in their heals the more the opposing side escalates their fight against for change. This struggle can be seen in politics, in communities, in the workplace, in relationships, and if you look hard maybe even within yourself. If you are struggling to keep things the same try asking yourself: what am I afraid of losing? Control? Power? My identity? In the case of radical change ask yourself: what am I running away from? By doing so you can begin to filter out your fears or at least become aware of them. An awareness of the fears driving your intentions can bring more clarity to the decisions that need to be made.