Change ain’t so bad…or is it?


Comic by Reza James Farazmand.

Comic by Reza James Farazmand.

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

Whether it’s freeway construction, mall upgrades, identity changes, proposed stadiums or new political agendas; we are always quick to scour at whatever someone else is planning for us.

Why does change make people so uncomfortable?

It seems people get extremely comfortable with the way things are, and when someone wants to offer something different we may go along eventually, but it will be kicking and screaming the whole way.

Yet we always adjust. Why? Because we have to.

People are quick to reject transformations that don’t seem necessary. We also reject anything we don’t like, so it’s no surprise to see companies like Facebook and PepsiCo getting flack for changing their looks.

Users seem to rebel against any Facebook facelift when they should be applauding the social networking site for staying with the times.

The thing is, no one intentionally changes for the worse.

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

Most of these words are generally positive. We need to stop seeing change as a bad thing.

Now, not everyone is on the right track: there are sparse fans of PepsiCo’s new logo that is either a funky smirk or a guy taking his shirt off.

And Tropicana is reverting back to its classic look because people didn’t need anything different from their orange juice.
Orange juice may not need to change, but we do.

If we don’t, we fear a static culture. A culture that remains unaltered becomes rigid and old, ultimately destined not to last.
Take construction as another example. The swarms of hard hats and orange vests doing work where Temple Ave. turns into Amar can take drivers 30 minutes to move two blocks, but it also generates an otherwise subdued creativity.

Some cars seek alternate routes in the Stater Bros. shopping center to make their way faster.

From an economical standpoint, the creative coping mechanism is a good thing.

It forces fresh thinking out of necessity and this will always bring out something better in the end: perhaps the stores by Stater Bros. have actually gotten more traffic from what they thought would be a obstruction to business.

Without change, creativity would be stifled.

It’s all too easy to remain satisfied with status quo, but refusing to be open to new ideas kills the innovation that America thrives on.

Take Cal Poly.

Officials are working on a campaign to re-brand the university’s image. And that could mean a potential name change.
Considering the confusion between Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona Pitzer and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, this is probably a good idea.
That might mean a little change around this place, so don’t get hot and bothered if you start noticing some differences.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Things do not change, we change.”

A possible interpretation being: 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 “out of the box,” people are up in arms at the slightest sign of discomfort to get to the finished product.

One solution is that the change agents need to better communicate their reasons for change and initiate a dialogue for feedback and input from those being affected.

And if no one weighs in, at least they had the chance.

And people, be more willing to accept new things.

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