If you go out in the pastures south of my house about 8 miles, you will find a couple of deep ruts. I was with the owner of the pasture a few years ago, and he told me that those two ruts are the remains of the horse and wagon days. Back in those times, out on the prairie, the farmers here would take their grain to this water driven grain griding mill about 45 miles southeast. The shortest distant between two points is a straight line, and back in those days, they just made a path that went straight to the mill.
Over the years as the local farmers made their way to the mill and back, these paths eventually wore in ruts about 8 to 10 inches deep. Once your wagon made way to the path, you were set as the horses just followed the path. Once you got in the ruts, it was very hard to get out, and why would you, it would take you where you wanted to go in the first place.
Something could be said for maintaining the status quo. It’s comfortable in those ruts. If you have been down that path and stayed in those ruts, you always knew where you were going to end up. If you had made several trips on this path, everything became familiar, you always knew what to expect around the bend or over the hill. It was safe on this path, and you knew if something did happen, there would be others to come along shortly.
I find it an interesting study to observe human nature when a change is presented to them. We all have choices in life and many humans fully underestimate their ability to affect their life by the choices they make. It is scary to get out of the ruts and explore a new territory. Changing jobs, moving to a new community, getting married, all things that move us out of the ruts and into unexplored territory. Who knows what will happen, but you never will know if one never gets out of the ruts and follow Lewis and Clark over the mountains. It is a choice each individual has to make for themselves.
Change is something that can be uncomfortable. It could be something that is absolutely amazing. The fact of the matter is, too many people judge others on their ability to change or not to change (I am guilty). What right do I have to judge others based on what I think is right? What makes me right in the first place? And, why do I always have to be right, even when I am right?….what does that get me anyway? One becomes arrogant in ignorance when one assumes they know what is best for another or for the group in most situations. I understand that their are times when I will know what is best for someone (someone says they have chest pains, sweating, pain in the left shoulder, they need a doctor) There are times when I may think I know the changes that should be made, and yet, no one wants to divert out of the ruts. The only one I can control is me and the choices that I can make for myself. Leadership is what affects others to make the change with you. A leader shows value in what the change will bring. A measure of leadership is how you can affect a change. It all starts with me. If I am leading, and no one is following, then I am just taking a walk.
“Change is inevitable…Growth is optional” What do you think?