“You cannot tell a child not to touch a hot lamp, the lamp will tell him.” – African proverb
Once upon a time, long ago, Change started out as an apprentice to Time. It was during an era when the master craftsmanship of Time was greatly admired and everybody wanted to be like him. He strolled ahead of everybody, even to this day he still does. He had perfected his trade so well; he was the hallmark of efficiency.
Plus he had a passion for his work. He never stopped, or rested or slept and very few could catch up with him. All the fathers wanted their sons to be like Time and thus all the boys were sent to him for training. Interestingly, they all found his pace so fast and so unique, they always gave up.
Change’s father, once an apprentice of Time had yearned for boy but he got a girl. He named her Change because her birth brought about a change in his plans. However, he believed that Change should fulfil his dream, and learn the craft of Time. And so he sent her to Time, and he being generous, accepted to train her.
Change was not only grateful, she also prided herself on being the first female apprentice and vowed to do what the boys could not do. Thus she followed Time everywhere, until her feet were tired and she could barely walk. But she never gave up.
As a matter of fact, she committed herself to enjoy the learning process, so much so, she keenly followed Time, observing all his movements, no matter how insignificant it was. She noted every “tock” and “tick,” and she asked a million questions, probably, two million questions until she came to appreciate what Time did and had to do.
It took time, but she finally understood that Time was unique and he had been shaped that way by nature. He only did what he was supposed to do – to pull life ahead. His was to set the pace for all to follow. He could not stop even if he wanted to, nor could he sleep or rest. He was always in motion, with a constant pace.
It was his duty and he just did it. And his duty was all he knew and he simply loved it. He will always be like that because he did not know if he can become anything else, neither did he even desire to become anything else. That is why he worked so well and is always energised to do so.
Change learned that Time could not and would never stops his passage for any individual, group or nation. He will always be on the move, whether people are taking advantage of his presence or not. And he knew that whatever we do with him, however much we might try to make the best out of him, or ignore him, life is embedded in his essence.
That is why Claudia Hammond, the British broadcaster and psychology writer puts it, “time can be a friend, but it can also be an enemy. The trick is to harness it, whether at home, at work, or even in social policy, and to work in line with our conception of time.” In fact, our experiences of life is rooted in time, so much so, we cannot think about ourselves without thinking about time.
These insights inspired Change. But more importantly, they brought to halt, her apprenticeship. Her senses snapped into reality and she instantly became aware of herself. She could never become like Time, not even if she gave her all. She was Change and Change she will be. She has been created for a purpose different from that of Time. And hers was to ensure nothing ever remained that same.
Her role was to keep life on her toes. It was her duty to ensure humanity was never far behind Time. It was what she will be and the earlier she embraced herself for the task, the better and happier she will be. But more importantly, she had learned that if she could become as passionate about her work as Time is, she would become significant.
That was her ‘eureka’ moment. And from then on, she decided and came to live amongst humans, bring along with her, the greatest secrets she learned from her trade, and that which made Time important. That secret was, Time never repeated any time, ever. Thus upon her arrival amongst us, she has ensured that nothing has ever remained the same, and that nothing will ever be same. She has had to toil very hard because humanity is afraid of change.
Till recently, we had always perceived Change with suspicion, but she knew she had to work harder to get us to embrace her. It was tiring, but her approach was to make us understand that her presence was and is for our good, and nothing else. It worked and so what has happened and it is still happening is that, Change has involved herself in every sphere of our lives.
Even when we resist, she never gives up on task. And because she looks like the solution, and not the problem, we have accepted her alongside Time, as an essential aspect of life. This is the story and song of Change. Let us as individuals, learn the lessons she learned…
Kodwo Brumpon is a management consultant and a life coach who inspires individuals, groups and corporate bodies to think and feel that which is true, and helps them to positively respond to that which is beautiful is, whilst nudging them to let goodness govern their actions. Comments, suggestions and requests should be sent to him at [email protected]