Things will change. We will change.

Change is something that we resist. We fear the unknown. We’re afraid of going out of our comfort zones. We want to lay still, and avoid taking any big risks. We want less stress. So we resist change.

We’ve all heard about “Embrace Change” or “Change for the Better.” But do we even understand what it means?

Change is not as easy as replacing a new shirt with a freshly pressed one. Change is a process. It takes time. And often, the consequences are far from what we expected. (Don’t say ‘I told you so!’ because that’s a big confirmation bias).

Change is important or even critical in nature. Caterpillars transform into butterflies. Too much of it, however, is harmful (i.e. climate change). For us, human beings, change is, okay, constant. You will not see progress if you don’t embrace change. Look at the brighter side when change happens. You may well be in a place far far from where you started.

Why am I being so philosophical and nostalgic? I saw a friend and peer share a photo of my birthplace. It is my country’s “summer capital.” However, over the years, a lot has changed in that city. There are less trees now. Streets and roads are crowded. Little shops are gone. A big mall sits on top of a prime property. You don’t bump into friends anymore while strolling around the city. It was, and still is a small city back then, if I remember. I still recall the day when my school bus left without me because I was busy playing in a park near school. I was 7 years old. Realizing my predicament, I decided to walk home.

Today, walking home is not an option. You can still walk, if you want. But due to the air pollution caused by jeepneys and cars plying the city’s main roads, walking is not a wonderful experience. I take that back.  I’d rather walk than be stuck in traffic (yes, traffic jams in a small city).

In the name of “progress,” the city I called home is now a faint memory of my past. I still remember going to a nearby hill every afternoon to  gaze into the city, while I listened to the refreshing gust of wind, blowing into my face. I kept thinking back then that I wouldn’t leave that city for any other place.

That city has changed. And so did my thoughts about that city. I don’t even call it home these days. I call it a vacation spot, and I’m a tourist.



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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time

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