to change is to question

Question mark made of puzzle piecesIf you stop me in the street and ask me about what I am passionate about I would simply answer in one word: ‘change’

I would then bore you for about an hour with a rant about what I believe change really means and how we too often willingly accept something without ever questioning it, simply because that is always the way it has been. [see my previous post about Transformational Learning]

Spending your life looking for ways you can change the world is not very practical. But you can focus on the things that you can control. It’s these things that you should question if change is possible or required.

Here is a recent example.

My wife and I were travelling with Miss 2-and-a-half. We stopped for lunch at a well known sandwich bar in a shopping centre. We each ordered a sandwich, a drink and Miss 2-and-a-half had the ‘kids special’.

We sat down and enjoyed our lovely lunch no more than 3 metres from where we purchased it. Once finished I bundled up all the rubbish and threw it in the bin. I was amazed at the amount of packaging that was used and it’s very short lifespan. It literally filled a fairly large plastic bag!!

We didn’t need each sandwich individually wrapped in paper and then placed in a paper bag. We also didn’t need that paper bag put inside a plastic bag just to carry it the 3 metres to where we were eating.

I saw it as nothing more than useless waste. Could I change this? Could I change the amount of waste I create by simply thinking about what packaging I am using?

After spending a weekend away with my wife and Miss 2-and-a-half, I was taking the rubbish to the bin as we were on our way to check out. During a two night stay we managed to create 2 shopping bags worth of rubbish that was going to end up on a tip somewhere.

Time to change.

Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi

I can initiate, implement and reflect upon this change simply because I control how much packaging I require and I control how much waste I create. I am going to start actively questioning how much packaging I use and how much waste I create.

Don’t be mistaken in thinking that this post is about an individual’s plight to save the world one unused plastic bag at a time, because it is not. This post is about seeing something in your life, something that you control and seeing a need to change it. This could be at work or at home. It could be to do with your health, how much time you spend with your family or how you react to a situation.

If you can control it, you can change it. The question is, should you change it? And that question is the whole reason behind this post. You don’t know if you need to change something you control unless you actively question if change is possibly or required. The act of questioning is the important catalyst behind all change.

Comments

2 Responses to “to change is to question”

  1. Simon on September 27th, 2010 10:33 pm

    Nice post Shane, could not agree more. I love the line ‘focus on things that you can control’.

  2. Jim Hayes on April 4th, 2011 9:06 am

    I love your point that we can’t change what we don’t question.

    I’ve started reading a book called “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schultz that talks about how we can’t “be wrong” unless we’ve already recognized (questioned) that we are wrong. It is a little academic but I think you would like it.

    Just ran across your blog today as my wife is a 3rd grade teacher and she was looking for creative ways to challenge her students to think.

Leave a Reply