Very delicately and gradually, a larva transforms into a pupa. It then comes out of its shell and faces the fresh air and the moist ground for the first time. Its dual colour of red and black appears distinctly as it moves on the ground before entering its fourth stage of a cocoon. Finally, after a number of weeks, the tiny insect spreads out its colourful, vibrant wings and hovers leisurely over the splendid, bright flower, sucking nectar. Metamorphosis is ubiquitous in nature. Change is inevitable and must be accepted with grace for its evident everywhere.
Since time immemorial, the world has been subjected to changes. The ice-age world, with the frozen plains and feral animals were gradually depleted. The dinosaurs that once reigned over the earth have now become extinct. However, changes are more prevalent and drastic in the present era as compared to the past. The younger generation is fastidious, capricious and fickle-minded. The restless new generation constantly calls for a change in politics, technology, social lives, studies as well as in the luxuries and amenities of life. If we dive into the sands of time, we will realise that history is a witness of revolts and revolutions. The venerable freedom fighters of India demanded freedom, to break through the shackles of two centuries of British Rule. Through their sustained and arduous struggles, India stepped up from the old to the new, marking an end to the age of slavery and beginning of free expression of the soul of our nation.
Changes offer a new ray of hope. After the change of government in Afghanistan, from the Russians to the Talibans, the Afghans anticipated a brighter future. Sure, the Talibans crushed all their hopes of a glorious existence but the optimistic spark that filled those citizens gave them the strength to bear the oppression and in time to protest against them. Winds of change are flowing tempestuously around the world. The technological industry is facing a drastic change. The survival of the fittest has taken the level of competition to an entirely different standard. New gadgets become obsolete in less than a fortnight. What used to be an aristocratic feudal society in which customs and traditions were given paramount preference, has now transformed into an independent and scattered societal living with power, affluence and individual needs and requirements given importance. An individual acts as he thinks is correct, not necessarily as society sees fit.
Change has also brought with it a host of problems and issues which need to be resolved. Old parents are no longer taken care of and are neglected, teachers are not considered as ‘gurus’ anymore. People have become more ostentatious, decisions are now taken on face value. The world is no longer a place to amble in and spend time leisurely. In this fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity with hardly a minute to spare. Hackneyed as it may sound, but change indeed has effects like two sides of a coin. A change in attitude for the better, a change that echoes the voices of the common masses, and a change that eases the lives of the people is undoubtedly happily welcomed. Women’s empowerment has drastically improved the condition of women. They are no longer confined to their homes or denied the benefits of education. In the present scenario, women are becoming more independent and fighting for their rights.
Life is like a tightrope where all of us are warily doing a daring balancing act. We must embrace it well. It is but natural to face vicissitudes till our very last breath. However, in this struggle for survival, only those who can gauge when to leave the window open to let the change of wind enter, can be acknowledged to be prudent enough. Likewise, it is necessary to bolt all our doors and windows and put down our blinds to avoid the violent storms of change that can prove to be catastrophic. Although, the true test of friendship is in the times of miseries, the hardest examination of self-attitude is in the times of success. A change in friendship occurs during our struggles and failures when the fake friends are revealed, but an unwarranted change in the attitude and character on victory is the most dangerous pitfall. The happiest people savour the moment, are adoptable, can blend with the wind, can adjust to the changes around and most importantly adopt changes cautiously. They have the capacity to change their outlook, to sweep away all the pessimism and grudges and forget their neighbours fault; forget all the slander and unkind remarks they hear each day and thus increase their happiness.
The question arises whether to adapt to the all-consuming fury of nature or to implement alternate techniques for the betterment of the world. Considerable, the latter seems a better option as scientists dig deep to find alternate ways of protecting our Mother Nature. Change is the only constant which never changes. Some have the misfortune of accepting the harder way while others have the luck of welcoming it without any reluctance. A peep into the lives of successful leaders, actors and entrepreneurs of how their lives transformed from poverty into a luxurious and extravagant world, may be a feast to the heart of commoners. But it is fact, those eminent people who know the hours of walking in the scorching heat and dragging their feet they had to succumb to, in order to bring a change to their lives.
“The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator. Only the most courageous sailors can bring about a ray of sunshine.’’ A world renowned heroic example is Nelson Mandela’s struggle. He courageously fought against the apartheid- discrimination between the whites and black, in South Africa. He sought to bring about a change in the world order. Life is a constant orchestration of growth through adversity and challenges. The moment we accept the growth principle of change, we accept the static principle of death. Success and defeat are both impostors. They will never cease to exist. What matters is when and where we take a break from our lives and bring about a change, no matter how trivial it is. Even a whiff of change in our mundane lives can be rejuvenating. It can soothe as enough to accelerate in the derby of our lives, helping us to face myriad responsibilities with more enthusiasm than ever before.
Richa Singh is a student pursuing Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia.