‘Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values’ *

Dec 10, 2018

I drank my coffee black today.  In fact I’ve been drinking it black since Thanksgiving.  After over 40 years of drinking it with cream, I’m drinking it black (well, there was a short period in my life when I suffered with powdered creamer that my company insisted on buying instead of cream or milk, so that is almost like black).

I stopped using sugar about 25 years ago, but the creamer was always required.  Not today.  Not for the last 10 days anyway.  You see, I just always found the flavor of coffee improved by creamer.  Much of the coffee I have drunk over the years was cheap “office coffee” and was bitter and harsh at times.  And “quality” brands like Starbucks are, well frankly, burnt.  [I just don’t get how people fall in love with Starbucks.]

Anyway, after being convinced by our provider to try their new coffee, we switched to an Ecuadorian coffee called Mandala.  It’s grown in Vilcabamba and it has a perfect balance so it is not bitter.  And the flavor is wonderful.  So, no more cream.  Now I get the total flavor of the coffee.  No sugar, no cream, nothing but coffee.

This just goes to show that, even though we find our own personal likes over time — in my case with coffee, over more than 40 years — we can change our minds if something better comes along.  And sometimes we have to make these changes because of other things out of our control.

Either way, it’s something we need to embrace, not run from.  We all need to adapt over time in our lives.  It’s an important tool set for us to move forward.  To quote George Bernard Shaw, “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

Even Einstein spoke of change.  He said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”  In other words, those who resist change in all forms only prove their ignorance.

But in these times, I think that these positions need to be modified.  Because not all change is good.  Some change needs to be resisted.  Fought against and exposed for the evil that it is.

I think it’s better to say, “The ability to meet change and measure it’s value or lack there of and then to adapt to it or reject, is the true measure of intelligence.”

To not just be a follower of change, but a student of it, is a true testament to intelligence.  To be able to determine what feelings one has built up about a topic, and how those feelings were formed, and to recognize that perhaps outside influences have overtaken one’s “free thought” on the issue, is true intelligence.

Right now, we all have to do that.  Because too many of us now just easily spout on with tag lines we have heard or read on Fox, or CNN, or Breitbart or the BBC, etc.

And we are reluctant to change our minds once these digital tidbits of doubt or anger or fear have been planted in or heads.  And we dig our heels in and say, “this is the truth” or “that is fake.”

But not all of it is true and not all of it is fake.  And some of it we need to stop and listen too, even if we don’t agree with it.  We need to look at it, determine what outside influences are shaping our thoughts on it, and measure once again if we are reluctant to change and that’s why we fight it, or if it is something we need to fight no matter what.  And we need to make sure that those outside influences have not taken control over our ability to measure the value of that change.

Change is inevitable.  Not all of it is good.  Not all of it is bad.  We need to start to look at change in new terms.

We need to decide of it is good for all, or just for some.

We need to investigate the motives of those pushing the change.

And we need to decide if what we believe is harsh and bitter and needs a little bit of something added to it.  Or if it needs to be held with all of our strength.

With or without cream.

I’m just sayin.’

* Dalai Lama

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