Let’s begin at the beginning
We’re lovers and we’re losers
We’re heroes and we’re pioneers
We’re beggars and we’re choosers
Frank Turner ‘I knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’
My shelves are full of books about artists, poets, politicians, entrepreneurs, rebels, change makers and revolutionaries. I am drawn to conversations with people making change happen in all facets of our world from the arts to zoology. The work that I want to do most and do most often is work that changes the world to make it more human. The company and community I keep is called Change Agents Worldwide. I am in more communities of change makers than I can count. Every business I am involved in is working hard to change the world for the better despite the complex and dreary challenges that change makers face. This morning, driving to work listening to music, an insight dropped .
Maybe, just maybe, there is a pattern in all this.
The pattern is that change is life. Change is the vitality of growth. Change is the everpresent battle against the decay that settles on the static and the passive. Change is the opportunity to see the unrealised potential, here and now. Change is what the living do.
Change makers see problems and know their job is to make things better. They don’t complain (much) and they don’t expect complaints to be an answer. If you want change, you get on with the challenge of bringing a better world into this one. Nobody will do your work for you.
Changemakers don’t expect perfection. They start where they can. You can’t accept dead history as an excuse when you demand life lives up to exacting standards and are prepared to exhaust yourselves trying.
There is an old phrase that we are the company we keep. I will happily keep leaning into my communities of rebels, change makers and entrepreneurs. Let’s hope their energy, passion and life keeps rubbing off on me. I’ve got a lot of change left to make and a lot of living left to do.
And I know I’m not the one who is habitually optimistic
But I’m the one who’s got the microphone here so just remember this
Yeah, well life is about love, lost minutes and lost evenings
About fire in our bellies and about furtive little feelings
And the aching amplitudes that set our needles all a-flickering
And they help us with remembering that the only thing that’s left to do is live
Yea, the only thing that’s left to do is live
Frank Turner, ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’
Thanks to Frank Turner for the song:
Thanks also to Helen Blunden for her discussion about art and architecture this morning that prompted this meditation.