I was looking through some old essays I had written many years ago. One of the themes I saw clearly was my adversity to change. I actually wrote an entire essay on how overrated it was, the idea of change, with its discomfort and uncertainties. At that time, I had been starting a new job. I didn’t know where the bathrooms were. I didn’t know where and when to eat lunch. I didn’t know who to trust or where to start. I hated leaving the comfort of my old job. And, though I might have been bored and ill-matched for my previous position, I still didn’t want to change anything. Comfort is, after all, the enemy of change.
Funny thing about life, though. If you don’t adapt while it morphs around you, it will roll right over you. Change is as inevitable as the passage of time. I learned that the hard way too, with the passing of my dear grandmother and my father, and so many others I loved. But I also learned it in the best way, with the birth of babies, new love, and the wisdom that eventually comes with age. I now realize that change can be good because it can bring such unexpected delights. You never know what prize will be behind door number one, door number two, or door number three, but the anticipation of something good always resides there.
It takes a while to realize that you aren’t in charge of these changes in your life. You might choose some, but most of them will just happen whether you want them to or not. We now live in a world that often feels completely out of our control. And, in many ways, it is. Decisions about our health, our food, our system of education, even our spirituality, seem to be coming under fire. And though we can speak up and act out, it can often feel as if we are being overtaken by ideas that simply will never match our own. But what we are in charge of is how we let all of these intangibles impact us.
Which is why this Co-op that we are all a part of becomes even more important in these times. It stands as living proof that people can come together for the good of the whole in a time when that seems almost impossible. It is run on a belief system that takes EVERYONE into account and tries its best to do what society should be doing: negotiating through hard times by making decisions that consider as many people as possible in as many ways as possible. Your voice is heard here. It truly is. And whether you run for the Board of Directors, cast a vote, or simply write a note or an email to make your opinion known, it honestly gets consideration. Even when you spend your hard-earned money to make a purchase at the store, you are making your voice heard. You are supporting something that considers you, respects you, and answers to you. Even though the Co-op itself is growing and changing right before our eyes; it is important to remember that every decision is made with all of us in the mix. This philosophy feels so very rare anymore, this kind of consideration... And it feels powerful. Because all of us together stand as living proof that it can be done.