The Change Equation – Candle Makers

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt

Work!  We need to work.  We define our lives by what we do, how we participate and by our lasting contribution to our families, communities and even future generations.  Notwithstanding those moments when we would love to exchange the “rat-race” for an extended exotic holiday, we want to be employed in something meaningful. Whether we call it a career, labour, grindstone, we are at a loss once we no longer have that option.  Work allows us to make a living, purchase a decent life that bestows stability, shelter and a place to fulfill our individual potential.

Imagine the candle maker industry’s initial response to the appearance of light bulb technology: It will never catch on.  Too expensive! Only the rich people can afford electricity. It’s dangerous. The world will always need candles.  History bears witness to the dedication of candle makers in advancing the art of candle making, even as they battled new technology on two fronts: the light bulb and the a distillation of  kerosene. Fast forward to the present! Recently, I dropped by my local drugstore and found the checkout area in utter chaos.  Instead of eight, there were only three cashiers left.  A week later, I was introduced to a “do it yourself” automated checkout that processed my purchases with elegant efficiency.

Change within the work environment strikes at our ability to be self-sufficient.   We seek ways in which to predict the types and variety of future jobs to guide our educational decisions. We allocate personal resources to increase our marketability and establish a network of colleagues.  Instinctively, we sense the subtleties within our workplace; we anticipate and muster our resources to respond to changes effectively and creatively.

And so we come to our change equation, which has been transformed once again, thanks to the flow of amazing comments that inspires this conversation.  Leaping Tracks added infinity to the equation which goes hand in hand with Richhell’s comment about our ceaseless adaptations within the work environment.

No + time = Yes = Movement = More Movement = Infinity

Technology, whether in the form of a light bulb or an automated checkout, moves forward simply because we have an amazing capacity to embrace new ideas and opportunities.  We instigate transformation, even as we struggle to integrate it within our personal career choices.  Yet, it is our remarkable capacity for optimism that keeps us determined to achieve, to learn, to grow as we continue to engage in the next movement.

Next post:  Our community and the alphabet!

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Photos: The North Vancouver Shipyard – Once the Lower Mainland’s Major Employer