Sunday, June 12, 2011
#163 / Causing Change To Precipitate
My theory of change relies quite heavily on the metaphor of the supersaturated solution. I believe that change does not just "happen to us," but that we "make it happen" by our own actions and decisions. In fact, we "legislate" the world in which we most immediately reside.
The process of change may not always come from the kind of activities that are long and laborious, as the "legislative" process almost inevitably is. I think it is clear that startling and rapid transformations of our human reality are possible, and in fact should be expected, since change does not correlate in any linear fashion with the actions that cause it.
Change that we can "see," as when a crystal precipitates out from the supersaturated solution of our lives, is often related to what might be thought of as a relatively minor disturbance to the existing situation. You can see how that happened in Tahrir Square. I think that this kind of change may be more the rule than the exception. People and their actions, individual persons casting their lives into the flask of our common life, cause these changes that we "believe in" because we finally see them in fact.
Individual people do that, which is why biography is a serious study. Peter Douglas is someone who has reflected on this phenomenon, and is continuing to do so, and he is a person whose life and life actions have precipitated changes that have benefited us all. Here is a reference to Peter's blog. A good bit of biography!