The Wings Of Butterflies
Written By: Ibby Smith Stofer
Change is in the air! It is on the wings of butterflies. Looking out the window each morning the view is essentially the same, but if you look closely there are subtle changes that are sometimes overlooked.
Mother Nature subtly alters our view of the world. She changes the intensity of colors and amplifies sounds to alert us that things are changing. She offers us rain, sun, wind, snow, calmness, fog, hail, and thunder and lightning. It is like a movie that is playing out for us to watch. Always changing before our eyes and affecting us often without our acknowledgment.
How we see what she offers is not too different from how many of us see change. Whether change is happening in our family life, our career, or our community how we react to it is what makes a difference. Reality is that we rarely have the opportunity to view or respond to changes as still frames. When one thing is changing, there are reactions and more change to follow.
Think of Mother Nature’s transitions. As we experience the colorful leaf displays followed by the dropping of the leaves we know that winter is forthcoming. Do we dread the early darkness or the need for warm coats and boots? On the other hand, do we, like small children, gaze upon the new fallen snow with wonder and joy? They anticipate that there will be snowballs flying, snowmen building, and perhaps sleigh rides. Too often as adults we dread change and do not welcome or embrace it. We just want it to go away!
Yet change, like the differing seasons, is inevitable. There have been studies on why change in business is so difficult to achieve. Counselors and lawyers have made careers of helping people deal with change in both their personal and professional life. Google responds to the search for “change in business” with over one billion articles to research.
How do you look at change? Do you dread it or do you embrace it? Certainly, I doubt there is anyone that has not experienced change. In fact, I know that person does not exist, because when you come into the world, you leave the womb and that is the first change you experience.
Some great minds have shared their thoughts on change. I will share a few with you to get you thinking about any upcoming changes in your own personal or professional life.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are sure to miss the future.” (John F. Kennedy)
“Every story has an end. But in life, every ending is a new beginning.” (Uptown Girls)
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” (Wayne Gretzky)
“Our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” (Walt Disney)
“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” (George Bernard Shaw)
And a couple of personal favorites:
“We must be the change we wish to see.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long, so regretfully upon the closed door, that we fail to see the one that is opened for us.” (Helen Keller)
My favorite unknown authored quote on change is: “Without change there would be no butterflies.”
Think of the changes that a butterfly undergoes in its short life span of one month. A short video on YouTube you may enjoy is the “Amazing Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly.”
Butterflies may not have a choice to accept or reject change. But we certainly do and another certainty is that change is a continuous event. I think the saying goes like this, for every action there is a reaction. Change is inevitable and how we deal with it affects how well we enjoy it, embrace it or dread it.
I want butterflies in my life and will therefore try to embrace and welcome change, whenever and wherever it touches me. Consider what choice you want to make.
Here is an Irish blessing that reminds me of my Mom. While gone she is never too far to send her love on the wings of the butterfly. I send it on to you, as my wish for each of you.