A long time ago while sitting in an executive meeting with members of the “C” ring of a large company I heard an executive explain a 180-degree change in course by stating with a straight face, “My thoughts on that have evolved.” That line has stuck with me for more than 10 years. I’ve even used it. This week though, I’ve been holding court in my head in an interesting case of Change v. Evolution.
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One of the issues with this debate, the plaintiffs in the case are both me.
I like to think of myself as an evolved person. As a single parent with two girls I have to be in touch with enough of my feelings to be able to talk to my girls. Now that one is about to be a teen and the other is holding on to tween, the conversations are very different. I think I am effective enough though to hold my own with both scenarios.
Then come other aspects of life-when I’m not at work and not at home and have to communicate. That can be a challenge for me. I even stopped to get some testimony on this theory today and my thoughts were validated. I do struggle. But I think I am better at those conversations now than I was when I was in college or when I was married.
To borrow from the executive mentioned at the beginning, my abilities in this arena have evolved. When I looked up the difference between “evolution” and “change” it was an interesting read.
Via dictionary.com evolution is a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development. The same site says change is to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone
By my read, over the course of the (gulp) 23 years since college my ability to communicate has evolved in the truest sense of the word. And I’d like to think the evolution will continue. But change seems more immediate and less nuanced. Yes, in this case life is better with change (and the change agent) that what it would be if left alone.
While man gradually stood through the course of evolution, change (and it’s agents) can be far tougher. Think back to the change in our history on 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombings. It’s a sudden shock that alters the reality.
In my house, I try to bring on change through evolution-long and short-term evolution projects. My kids deserve that, and frankly I can handle that. Change in the house that comes on suddenly tends to disrupt our house and we’ve had enough of that.