Sunday, July 7, 2013

Under Construction: Reflections on Change

TRENTON-- Just this past week, as I was doing my daily rounds, I noticed construction workers still digging in and digging up parts of North Warren Street. In the span of only a couple of days, these workers have turned this North Trenton street into a one lane pathway leaving neighborhood residents with one less place to park their vehicles and forcing pedestrians to walk around or circumvent the rubble.

Despite the current inconvenience that this new construction presents, I think something can be learned from it and I wanted to share with you my thoughts. First and foremost, I've learned that anytime something needs to be fixed or changed, sometimes you have to do some digging to uncover what the real problem is. Simply staying on the surface may not unearth the real problem. In other words, you don't want to just treat symptoms of an issue, when the problem may run much deeper than that. So you may have to dig deep and find some things you may not expect, but that's okay, because it's necessary to solve or fix your problem.

A concrete example of what I'm trying to say can come from my own experience. As a younger man, when I started college at Mercer County, my grades were terrible because quite frankly, I did not enjoy reading or writing, nor did I see their necessity at the time. When I was younger, I thought it was the teacher, or the books were boring, or something outside of me that was causing my poor grades, but as I dug deep and started to really look at the situation, I found that I was the culprit. I did not put in the time to read, pay attention in class, or do the work and I had to accept the reality that I did not like to read or write. By digging deep and looking at the facts objectively, I realized that I needed to change and quick if I didn't want to flunk out of school, and guess what, I changed, I began to love reading and writing to the point that I became a blogger or citizen journalist.

Another thing I have learned from the construction on Warren Street is that change or transformation takes time. The construction workers on Warren Street just started about two weeks ago and it doesn't look like they will be done any time soon. So, change doesn't happen overnight. All one needs to do is look at the process of losing weight ( a process I am presently going through, too much soda and one too many donuts, but I digress). If one looks at the process of losing weight or getting in shape, it takes significant effort and time. Sure, there may be fad diets out there that promise overnight results, but I tell you the truth, real change takes time. Rome was not built in a day, neither will your change effort. But if you're serious and have made a commitment to change, you will see yourself through it, no matter the setbacks and obstacles.

Lastly, the construction on North Warren Street has taught me that changing can be uncomfortable. In the case of the construction on Warren Street, I see that residents and visitors alike now have one less place to park their vehicles. In the case of pedestrians, they now have to travel around the rubble to get where they are going. Yet despite this discomfort or inconvenience, it doesn't alter the need for change. The street still needs work whether we like the inconvenience it brings or not. Indeed, change can be painful, but this pain or inconvenience does not impact its necessity.

So, all in all, the construction on North Warren Street, has shown me the importance of change and that with change comes the virtues of discovery, patience, and perseverance which can all lead to growth. I think this information can help anyone (myself included) that is wrestling with change in their life, their community, or in their workplace. I leave this with you to ponder and engage with. All responses are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Insightful and thoughtful article. It is not easy to look at ourselves when it is much more comfortable to look the other way. Your commitment to growth and change and positive transformation is inspiring. Growth can be painful but it is always worth it. Part of growth is learning that we can make meaningful changes in our own behavior to make our lives and the lives of others better. That requires hard work and is very rewarding. Another part of growth and transformation is accepting that some times this world will break our hearts but not our spirit. Congratulations on your constant pursuit of greater spiritual growth.