All Is Not Well
June 1st, 2023
No one appreciates the sentiments of Julian of Norwich better than I. “All shall be well, and all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.”
I appreciate the positive sense of this proverb especially when I need to remind myself that whatever I’m going through at any given time, I really am going THROUGH. We don’t have to be stuck in whatever circumstance we find ourselves at the moment. In that sense, Julian is absolutely correct. Things will change.
On the other hand, most things will not change for the better, unless we change them. No silver bullet will take care of our werewolves. Someone wisely said, “If there is no change, there is no change.” As long as we continue to do what we have always done, we will have what we have always had.
Change requires some effort on our part. And change is usually hard. We resist it for a number of reasons. That starts with “the devil you know”. Maybe things are not going particularly well, but you are at least familiar with the process. It feels more comfortable with the status quo. Change requires getting outside our comfort zone.
Some of the ideas that brought you to the less than optimal circumstances were yours. It feels like capitulating or admitting to fallibility to say that things need to change, but what may have worked well when the original idea was implemented may have lost steam over time. What seemed genius a few years ago may be obsolete today.
Change must happen to meet the expanding goals and the inevitable creativity that helps us to stay current with new ways of meeting challenges. The needs aren’t the only changing things in our sphere of influence, but even with those we must recognize the lived experience of people we would like to help. It is more important to address real perceived needs than to continue doing what we have always done without listening to new voices and changing philosophies.
Finally, we need to be willing to let the very culture of our organizations morph with the influence of diverse ideas and the input of people with different perspectives. That’s not to say we shall be blown off course by every changing breeze. It does mean that we surround ourselves with people who think differently than we do. Then we need to listen to honest criticism, validate the truth of the statements, and implement as many of the changes as are feasible.
We do not learn a lot from our successes. Wise people learn from our failures. We listen with open minds to a wide variety of people, and we improve as we put into action things we would never have thought of ourselves.
So, yes, Julian, all manner of things shall be well if we do the hard work of listening to a variety of new ideas, getting out of our comfort zone, dashing the familiar, and even letting the culture of our organizations change as needed to utilize the life experiences of others to become our best selves.