Calm down! It’s okay to change


It’s the biggest word buzzing about our country right now, but to some it’s a scary one.

Obama has brought in change to the White House that has been fairly well received, but a lot of other things are changing quickly these days and people don’t always react so kindly. While the need for change in America is pretty obvious, the public can be quick to reject transformations we don’t see as necessary. We also reject anything we don’t like, so it’s no surprise to see companies getting a lot flack for trying to stay with the times these days.

Facebook changed its look right before break, and as usual, the people revolted. Just like the last Facebook facelift, users formed hate groups trying to sway the developers to revert their update and go back to the “old Facebook.”

Since when was old ever a good thing? Sorry, senior citizens.

Remember the last time Facebook got a makeover? We revolted against that one too: we saw the origination of the “stalker feed,” something that many were actively opposed to upon inception but are now missing dearly in the new, simplified look that borrows big from rising social networker Twitter.

The dictionary defines change as becoming different, modifying, transitioning, or converting.

Most of these words are generally positive. Sure, anything can take on a negative connotation, but we need to stop seeing change as a bad thing. No one intentionally changes for the worse.

Now, not everyone is on the right track: there are sparse fans of PepsiCo’s new modern, smirking, wave logo and Tropicana’s image update is reverting back to classic.

If you don’t change, you fear a static culture. One that remains unchanged and becomes rigid and old in no time.

Take construction as another example. The mess of hard hats and orange vests doing work where Temple Ave. turns into Amar past Mt. Sac causes two blocks to take 30 minutes sometimes, and seems to have been going on forever. While it creates stress and angst among many drivers, it also generates creativity: cars seek alternate routes in the shopping center parking lot or residential neighborhoods to cope.

From an economical standpoint, the creative coping mechanism is a good thing. It forces fresh thinking and opens up eyes out of necessity and brings out something better in the end: perhaps those businesses by Stater Bros. have actually gotten more traffic from what they thought would be a hindrance. Marketers are supposed to think outside the box anyway. Without change, creativity would be stifled.

It’s easy to become comfortable in a certain mindset; satisfied with what’s at hand. But refusing to be open to new ideas kills the innovation that America thrives on.

Take Cal Poly as my final example. Officials are working on a comprehensive campaign right now to rebrand the university’s image and part of that involves capital fund raising to help the university survive the trying times and distinguish itself from, e.g., Pomona Pitzer and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. That might mean a little change around this place, so don’t get your panties in a bundle if you see a transformation process on the horizon.

In addition, faculty and staff discussed at the March 19 budget forum in Ursa Major ways of keeping money on campus: buying supplies at the Bronco Bookstore or seeking catering through Foundation to keep university organizations surviving. Money kept on campus helps all of us in the long run, and while it won’t directly get an extra section of that GE you need, we should applaud the campus for seeking alternative routes of generating revenue internally as well as externally.

Philosopher Henry David Thoreau said, “Things do not change, we change.”

What he must have meant is that we change the things around us because we change. Things aren’t supposed to remain the same. Yet, every time an organization tries to do something different, people are up in arms at the slightest sign of discomfort.

So next time you see a redesign, understand the intentions before you start crying out.

**What change have you seen recently that you were in favor of or vehemently opposed to? Weigh in.

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