Last October I wandered across a little item on the topic of “overcoming resistance to change.” As happens in life, that phrase turned out to be the innocent trigger for a 9-month exercise which has resulted in the 100K-word, 737-page “collection” presented herewith.
“Resistance to change” conjures up images of “battles” and “conflict” and “winners” and “losers.” I get it—and I think it’s 100% ass backwards, to put it in blunt terms. The joy—and it is “joy”—of having a new, contrarian idea is seeking out colleagues who share it, jumping into the pond, and starting to splash around. That is, in my view, change agentry is about collecting and nurturing and playing with allies—not “vanquishing” “foes.”
Using twitter as my medium-of-choice, I began a vigorous exchange on this topic. And the rest is history. Well, not exactly. The tweetstream/twitter rant on making friends versus defeating foes triggered several like tweetstreams. Which led to this, that, and the other. Some of the thises & thats & others were twitter-inspired, some weren’t.
October became Christmas and New Year’s, and on 15 January my wife and I headed off to New Zealand for our annual two-month retreat from Vermont winter. (And what a winter we “missed.”) I not-so-grandly labeled the oddball collection I’d been cobbling together “Some Stuff.” It was a tad over 100 pages in length.
Two weeks into my New Zealand sojourn, on 1 February 2014 at 1 P.M., to be all too exact, I was in a lollapalooza of a head-on-both-cars-totaled car crash. Though no one was badly injured, I was the person at fault—one more Yank driving on the wrong side of the road. My physical problems were non-trivial but not debilitating. But the mental anguish was a whole other story. Only airbags and a fastened backseat seat belt had kept me from grievously injuring—or worse—three innocents.* ** *** (*My Kiwi neighbors were stunningly supportive—treating me like a longtime neighbor, not a pariah; bless them one and all.) (**This paper-book is unstintingly dedicated to John Hetrick, the guy who in 1952 invented the auto airbag; in this single instance, he may well have saved three lives.) (***The last item in this piece is an outright demand that you insist that passengers fasten their back seat seatbelt—the fastened belt saved a passenger from significant harm, perhaps death, in my accident.)